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


Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial - Dental Public Health in Action 3-3 Download
Acknowledgement of Referees 4-4 Download
A description of a specialist led primary care based oral surgery service 5-7 Download
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 Download
Assessment of caries experience in epidemiological surveys: a review 14-20 Download
Dental caries experience among 12-year-old children in Northwest Russia 20-24 Download
Variations in caries diagnoses and treatment recommendations and their impacts on the costs of oral health care 25-28 Download
Caries prevalence of 5, 12 and 15-year-old Greek children: A national pathfinder survey 29-32 Download
Associated factors of tooth wear among Malaysian 16-year-olds: a case-control study in Kota Bharu, Kelantan 33-38 Download
Factors associated with self-assessed masticatory ability among community-dwelling elderly Japanese 39-44 Download
The use of occlusal indices in high-impact literature 45-48 Download
Oral health status of a group of illicit drug users in Delhi, India 49-54 Download
Promoting Positive Health Behaviours – ‘Tooth Worm’ Phenomenon and its Implications 55-61 Download
Development and testing of a theory-based behavioural change intervention: A pilot investigation in a nursery school in a deprived area of Scotland 62-67 Download
The oral health status of Special Olympics athletes in Belgium 68-73 Download
Coincidence and awareness of oral parafunctions in college students 74-77 Download
Illness-related behaviour and sociodemographic determinants of oral health care use in Dabou, Côte d’Ivoire 78-84 Download
Number of teeth and its association with central obesity in older Southern Brazilians 85-89 Download
Perception of oral health related quality of life (OHQoL-UK) among periodontal risk patients before and after periodontal therapy 90-94 Download
Dental Fluorosis, Dental Caries, and Quality of Life Factors among Schoolchildren in a Colombian Fluorotic Area 95-99 Download
Relationship of Periodontal Disease to Pre-term Low Birth Weight Infants in a Selected Population - A Prospective Study. 100-105 Download
Dental Enamel Defects in Italian Children with Cystic Fibrosis: an observational study 106-109 Download
Orofacial pain symptoms and associated disability and psychosocial impact in community-dwelling and institutionalized elderly in Hong Kong 110-116 Download
Association of hyposalivation with oral function, nutrition and oral health in community-dwelling elderly Thai 117-123 Download
Assessment of the relationship between perceptions of dental aesthetics and demand for orthodontic treatment in 10 – 11 year old school children in Birmingham, UK. 124-128 Download


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