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Comparing the effectiveness of vision under low magnification and normal visual examination in detecting dental caries in a dental outreach program in India

Shivashankar Kengadaran , R. Pradeep Kumar , I. Meignana Arumugham , D. Sri Sakthi


Dental caries is breakdown of teeth due to activities of bacteria. The presentation of caries is highly variable. Sometimes caries may be directly visible. However, other methods of detection such as X-rays are used for less visible areas of teeth and to judge the extent of destruction. Lasers for detecting caries allow detection without ionizing radiation and are now used for detection of interproximal decay (between the teeth). Disclosing solutions are also used during tooth restoration to minimize the chance of recurrence. The modern era has seen the rise of microdentistry which is associated with the use of magnification for many procedures. The aim of the study was to compare the effectiveness of visual examination and examination under low magnification in detection of dental caries in dental outreach program. A total of 54 subjects attending the dental outreach program were included in the study. All the 54 subjects were examined both by normal visual examination and vision under low magnification. One examiner used dental loupes and the other examiner examined by normal visual examination. Dental caries was recorded based on the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria in a WHO oral health assessment form. Data were entered in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and analyzed using SPSS software (version 20). The inter-examiner kappa value for maxilla and mandible is calculated as 0.7841 and 0.705, respectively. Hence, there is a substantial agreement between the examiners using dental loupes and normal visual examination in detecting dental caries both in maxillary and mandibular teeth.

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