Aim: This was to describe the prevalence of eroded tooth surfaces among 15-17 years old school children in a Danish city and to assess the reliability of diagnosis of erosions performed by 9 clinical examiners.
Methods: During a calendar year (2000) a total of 558 children in 4 public schools in Aarhus were examined by 7 examiners and 2 coordinators using the following criteria: intact; erosion confined to enamel; erosion exposing less than half of the dentine, and erosion involving more dentine than half the surface.
Results: It was found that 14.0% (95% CL: 11.3%; 17.1%) of the children had more than 3 surfaces eroded. In the maxilla lingual surfaces were more affected than the facial surfaces. No lesions exposing more than half of the dentine were observed. Despite a careful calibration, including a thorough discussion of the criteria and the experience gained during the study, a substantial inter examiner difference in diagnosis was found.
Conclusion: The most frequently eroded sites were the lingual surfaces of maxillary incisors; the identification of eroded areas is often difficult and subject to a low inter examiner reliability.