Caries development in a young population managed by a restrictive attitude to radiography and operative intervention: I. A study at the patient level

Dentomaxillofac Radiol. 2002 Jul;31(4):224-31. doi: 10.1038/sj.dmfr.4600710.


Objectives: To assess, in a young population (age 6-19) managed by a restrictive attitude to radiography and operative intervention, prevalence of patients with posterior caries and/or fillings, probabilities of new proximal dentine lesions given different caries experience, correlation between radiographic intervals and caries experience, and prevalence of endodontic treatment.

Methods: Bitewing radiographs, taken between age 6 through 19 in 285 patients, were analysed in succession. Occlusal and proximal surfaces were coded for caries depth (0-4) and presence of fillings (5). Simple regression analysis was used to determine relations between radiographic intervals and caries experience. Significance testings of probability estimates were made with chi(2)- and t-tests, when applicable adjusted by the Bonferroni-Holm correction for mass-significance.

Results: The prevalence of patients with >/ or =1 fillings/dentine lesions in occlusal surfaces increased from 6-78% and in proximal ones from 1-38%. The probability of developing new proximal dentine lesions/fillings over different time periods was significantly lower among caries-free patients than among those with enamel or dentine lesions. There was a poor correlation between radiographic intervals (mean=16 months, range=6-33) and accumulated caries experience. Endodontic treatment had been made in a total of six teeth in six patients.

Conclusions: A restrictive attitude both to the frequency with which radiographs are taken and to operative treatment of proximal caries seems to be possible in young populations with low caries prevalence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Bicuspid
  • Child
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / complications
  • Dental Caries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Dental Pulp Diseases / etiology
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent / statistics & numerical data
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Molar
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Dentists'
  • Prevalence
  • Probability
  • Radiography, Bitewing / psychology
  • Radiography, Bitewing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Root Canal Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Sweden / epidemiology