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Modern Research in Dentistry

Assessment of Operator’s Accuracy in Detecting Occlusal Carious Lesion by Visual-Tactile Method in Malaysia
  • Open or CloseWan Zaripah Wan Bakar1*, Min Fui Chong2 and Nor Azira Zabidi3

    1Conservative Dentistry Unit, School of Dental Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia Health Campus, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.

    2Borneo Medical Centre, Lot 10992, Section 64, KTLD, Jalan Tun Jugah, 93350 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

    3Ministry of Health, Malaysia.

    *Corresponding author:Wan Zaripah Wan Bakar, Conservative Dentistry Unit, School of Dental Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia Health Campus, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia, Email:

Submission: September 29, 2019 Published: October 23, 2019

DOI: 10.31031/MRD.2019.04.000590

Volume4 Issue3


Visual-tactile method is still a commonly used technique in detecting caries even the International caries detection and Assessment System (ICDAS) has been exposed among dental operators in Malaysia. However, this method has been shown to have high specificity but low sensitivity and reproducibility. This study is conducted to determine the accuracy of visual-tactile method in diagnosing early occlusal caries lesion by dental practitioners in Malaysia. Fourteen posterior teeth were selected as samples for the assessment by 95 respondents from 9 different states which diagnosed each tooth as either sound, early or advanced caries following the criteria set. DIAGNO dent pen which is known as an accurate diagnostic tool in detection occlusal caries was used as a gold standard and the result was compared with the respondent’s visual-tactile assessment. Percentage was calculated and the result shown the percentage of accurate early occlusal caries detection using visual-tactile method is 43.23% (95% CI: 39.90, 46.56). In addition, the percentage of operators who misdiagnosed advanced lesion as sound or vice versa are 34.74% (95% CI: 24.99, 44.49) for 1 misdiagnosis, 6.32% (95% CI: 1.33, 11.30) for 2 misdiagnosis and 1.05% (95% CI: -1.03, 3.14) for 3 mis diagnosis. From this study, the level of accuracy for operators in Malaysia in detecting early occlusal caries lesion using visual-tactile method is relatively low. This finding is hoped to improve clinician awareness of the visual-tactile diagnostic method limitation so they will be more concerned and other devices or systems such as ICDAS should be used.

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