Epidemiological data reveal that the prevalence of dental caries in western countries has decreased in recent decades. The aim of this study was to investigate how dentists and dental hygienists assess dental caries lesions in bite-wing radiographs between 1983 and 2003. All dentists and dental hygienists in Public Dental Health in Uppsala County were offered to take part in the study. The participants assessed manifest and initial caries lesions in eight bite-wing radiographs from three patients individually. An X-ray viewer and binoculars were used. The assessments were repeated in the same radiographs every five years, a total of five times, between 1983 and 2003. In the different test occasions 80-103 dentists and 11-48 dental hygienists participated. The registration of dental caries changed between 1983 and 2003. The number of manifest lesions registered by dentists decreased between 1983 and 1988, but were stable after 1988. Dental hygienists showed no changes in the registration of manifest lesions during the study. Initial lesions registered by dentists and dental hygienists increased between 1988 and 1998. Assessments of initial caries lesions displayed a wider range than manifest lesions. Increasing age and more years in the profession resulted in fewer registered initial caries lesions. Dental hygienists had a tendency to register less caries than dentists. In conclusion, the result of the study indicate that inclusion of initial caries lesions in epidemiological reports should lead to a reduction in reliability. The changes in assessments of manifest caries lesions that took place in the 19805s should be considered when epidemiological data are evaluated.
Knowing which factors influence restoration longevity can help clinicians make sound treatment decisions. The authors analyzed data from The National Dental Practice-Based Research Network to identify predictors of early failures of amalgam and resin-based composite (RBC) restorations.
In this prospective cohort study, the authors gathered information from clinicians and offices participating in the network. Clinicians completed a baseline data collection form at the time of restoration placement and annually thereafter. Data collected included patient factors, practice factors and dentist factors, and the authors analyzed them by using mixed-model logistic regression.
A total of 226 practitioners followed up 6,218 direct restorations in 3,855 patients; 386 restorations failed (6.2 percent) during the mean (standard deviation) follow-up of 23.7 (8.8) months. The number of tooth surfaces restored at baseline helped predict subsequent restoration failure; restorations with four or more restored surfaces were more than four times more likely to fail. Restorative material was not associated significantly with longevity; neither was tooth type. Older patient age was associated highly with failure (P
Cites: J Am Dent Assoc. 2005 Jun;136(6):790-616022046
The aim of this study was to compare the estimation ability of a dental hygienist to that of a dentist when, independently, recording the oral health status and treatment need in a population of elderly, receiving home nursing. Seventy-three persons, enrolled in a home nursing long-time care programme, were recruited. For the oral examination a newly developed protocol with comparatively blunt measurement variables was used. The oral examination protocol was tested for construct validity and for internal consistency reliability. Statistical analyses were performed using Wilcoxon matched pairs signed rank sum test for testing differences, while inter-examiner agreement was estimated by calculating the kappa-values. Comparing the two examiners, good agreement was demonstrated for all mucosal recordings, colour, form, wounds, blisters, mucosal index, and for the palatal but not the lingual mucosa. For the latter, the dental hygienist recorded significantly more changes. The dental hygienist also recorded significantly higher plaque index values. Also regarding treatment intention and treatment need, the dental hygienist's estimation was somewhat higher. In conclusion, when comparing the dental hygienist's and the dentist's ability to estimate oral health status, treatment intention, and treatment need, some differences were observed, the dental hygienist tending to register "on the safe side", calling attention to the importance of inter-examiner calibration. However, for practical purpose the inter-examiner agreement was acceptable, constituting a promising basis for future out-reach activities.
Dental education in the Nordic countries was founded in the late 1800s, but the doctor's degree in dentistry (Ph.D.) was established somewhat later. Since the first dissertation in Finland in 1891, a total of 204 doctoral dentist candidates had defended their Ph.D. theses by 1991, 50% of them during the most recent 12 years. Over the 100-year period, 54% of the dentists' Ph.D. theses in Finland were defended at the University of Helsinki, 27% at Turku, 14% at Kuopio, and 5% at Oulu. Women constituted a minority of the candidates (23%) during the first 90 years but 54% from 1982 to 1991. From 1984 to 1993 a total of 374 dentist candidates in Finland, Norway, and Sweden defended their Ph.D. theses. The mean ages of the candidates ranged from 37.7 to 41.7 years for men and from 40.6 to 43.2 years for women. In the 10-year period on average 53 doctor's degrees were received per institute in Sweden, compared with 28 in Finland and 27 in Norway. In all three countries about 6 of 100 graduates in 1980s received a doctor's degree in dentistry. Almost all of these Ph.D. theses were written in English and based on collections of articles. Female candidates dominated in Finland (56%), compared with 34% in Sweden and 26% in Norway, where, however, women's contribution increased most rapidly, being tripled from early 1980s to 1990s.
The objective of this study was to explore access to dental care for low-income communities from the perspectives of low-income people, dentists and related health and social service-providers. The case study included 60 interviews involving, low-income adults (N = 41), dentists (N = 6) and health and social service-providers (N = 13). The analysis explores perceptions of need, evidence of unmet needs, and three dimensions of access--affordability, availability and acceptability. The study describes the sometimes poor fit between private dental practice and the public oral health needs of low-income individuals. Dentists and low-income patients alike explained how the current model of private dental practice and fee-for-service payments do not work well because of patients' concerns about the cost of dentistry, dentists' reluctance to treat this population, and the cultural incompatibility of most private practices to the needs of low-income communities. There is a poor fit between private practice dentistry, public dental benefits and the oral health needs of low-income communities, and other responses are needed to address the multiple dimensions of access to dentistry, including community dental clinics sensitive to the special needs of low-income people.
The aim of this study was to investigate the accuracy of 17 forensic odontologists identifying individuals from two sets of radiographs, one regarded as ante- and the other as postmortem. Each case was observed twice and only one pair out of 31 did not match. The observers were asked to comment about each case, classifying it as easy, moderate or difficult. The results show that one observer was totally correct in the first analysis while four observers made no errors the second time. In the first evaluation 14 observers made between one and seven errors and two observers made 11 errors each. In the second evaluation 12 observers made between one and seven errors and one observer made 13 errors. At the first evaluation, the observers judged 18 of the cases as easy, eight as medium and five as difficult. At the second evaluation, the observers pronounced 13 of the cases as easy, 13 as medium and five as difficult. The corresponding values for the authors were 6, 12 and 13. Most of the mistakes were made on the cases with no restorations and the incorrect answers were found mostly among the difficult cases. In practical forensic work however additional dental chart information is usually available to the forensic odontologist.
During recent decades, the duties and care rendered by Swedish dental hygienists have continuously expanded, and since 1991 they are licensed to practice dental hygiene independently. The aim of the present study was to investigate the accuracy of dental hygienists in examining and recording dental caries in comparison with dentists performing identical examinations. The study included two parts: A) Registration of carious lesions from radiographs of 100 extracted teeth, where the correct diagnosis could be verified, and B) clinical examination and registration of carious lesions in 213 patients. No statistically significant differences could be found between the dental hygienists' and their control dentists' accuracy to diagnose and record dental decay, with the exception of the number of initial lesions (white spot lesions) registered clinically, where the dental hygienists recorded more buccal and lingual lesions. Irrespective of the group of examiners (dental hygienists or dentists), however, the inter-examiner variation was wide. The variation decreased with the size of the lesion and increased with the age of the patient. This study suggests that no patient with a restorative treatment need would have been neglected if the dental hygienists had performed the examination, and, possibly, a more accurate non-restorative treatment need would have been addressed.
In forensic odontology, registration of dental characteristics is crucial in the identification procedure. It has been found that the most common errors made are incorrect registration of restorations and confusion about premolars and molars in both jaws. In an earlier study, dental students were observers and the charting was made without radiographs. However, in practical forensic work dentists make the registrations and radiographs are usually available. In this investigation eight dental students and eight dentists made registrations on ten excised macerated jaws with the aid of radiographs. The mean number of errors for each jaw for the students and the dentist was 4 and 3 respectively. The most common error among the dentists was incorrect registration of restorations, while errors on registrations of missing teeth were most common among the students. Even though the material in this study was limited, the results indicate the importance of re-examining of postmortem findings before the comparison with the antemortem data is done. Additionally, the forensic work should be performed by specialists.