March 2012

Volume 29, Issue 1

Assessment of caries experience in epidemiological surveys: a review

Authors: J.O. Agbaje E. Lesaffre D. Declerck
doi: 10.1922/CDH_2668-Olubanwo06


Objectives: To review aspects of methods for assessing caries experience (CE) in epidemiological surveys. Method: A search of English language literature published between January 2000 and December 2008 was undertaken using ‘epidemiology’, ‘dental caries’ and ‘assessment’ as search terms. Information on criteria for CE assessment, materials and settings, diagnostic threshold, training of examiners and validation of the screening results was extracted from the reports. Results: Eighty-nine reports met the inclusion criteria. In 9 of the reports (10%) no reference was made to existing standardisation criteria for assessment of CE. Light condition applied (60 reports, 67%) and the use of a probe (60 reports, 67%) were frequently reported. Most reports mentioned that training and calibration of examiners took place, but the outcome of reliability checks were often not presented (48 reports, 54%). Only 28 of the reports (32%) specified that cleaning took place before the examination. Journals with Impact Factor (IF) provided specific information on methods more frequently than journals without. The WHO Basic Methods for Oral Health Surveys were most often applied (52 surveys, 58%). However, deviations from the original description were found especially for measurement and reporting of reliability measurement (24, 46% and 29, 56% respectively), type of probe used (27, 52%) and light condition (16, 31%). All of these hamper the (external) validity of the obtained results. Conclusions: There is a clear need for improvement of the reporting and application of methods for assessing CE in epidemiological surveys. A check-list of aspects of methods to be included in reports of surveys assessing CE is proposed by the authors. Keywords: caries experience, epidemiology, methodological aspects

£10 single article

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Editorial - Dental Public Health in Action 3-3 £10 single article
Acknowledgement of Referees 4-4 £10 single article
A description of a specialist led primary care based oral surgery service 5-7 £10 single article
The caries experience of 11 to 12 year-old children in Scotland and Wales and 12 year-olds in England in 2008-2009: Reports of co-ordinated surveys using BASCD methodology 8-13 £10 single article
Assessment of caries experience in epidemiological surveys: a review 14-20 £10 single article
Dental caries experience among 12-year-old children in Northwest Russia 20-24 £10 single article
Variations in caries diagnoses and treatment recommendations and their impacts on the costs of oral health care 25-28 £10 single article
Caries prevalence of 5, 12 and 15-year-old Greek children: A national pathfinder survey 29-32 £10 single article
Associated factors of tooth wear among Malaysian 16-year-olds: a case-control study in Kota Bharu, Kelantan 33-38 £10 single article
Factors associated with self-assessed masticatory ability among community-dwelling elderly Japanese 39-44 £10 single article
The use of occlusal indices in high-impact literature 45-48 £10 single article
Oral health status of a group of illicit drug users in Delhi, India 49-54 £10 single article
Promoting Positive Health Behaviours – ‘Tooth Worm’ Phenomenon and its Implications 55-61 £10 single article
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The oral health status of Special Olympics athletes in Belgium 68-73 £10 single article
Coincidence and awareness of oral parafunctions in college students 74-77 £10 single article
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Orofacial pain symptoms and associated disability and psychosocial impact in community-dwelling and institutionalized elderly in Hong Kong 110-116 £10 single article
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