Performance of fluorescence methods, radiographic examination and ICDAS II on occlusal surfaces in vitro

Caries Res. 2008;42(4):297-304. doi: 10.1159/000148162. Epub 2008 Jul 29.


This study compared the performance of fluorescence-based methods, radiographic examination, and International Caries Detection and Assessment System (ICDAS) II on occlusal surfaces. One hundred and nineteen permanent human molars were assessed twice by 2 experienced dentists using the laser fluorescence (LF and LFpen) and fluorescence camera (FC) devices, ICDAS II and bitewing radiographs (BW). After measuring, the teeth were histologically prepared and assessed for caries extension. The sensitivities for dentine caries detection were 0.86 (FC), 0.78 (LFpen), 0.73 (ICDAS II), 0.51 (LF) and 0.34 (BW). The specificities were 0.97 (BW), 0.89 (LF), 0.65 (ICDAS II), 0.63 (FC) and 0.56 (LFpen). BW presented the highest values of likelihood ratio (LR)+ (12.47) and LR- (0.68). Rank correlations with histology were 0.53 (LF), 0.52 (LFpen), 0.41 (FC), 0.59 (ICDAS II) and 0.57 (BW). The area under the ROC curve varied from 0.72 to 0.83. Inter- and intraexaminer intraclass correlation values were respectively 0.90 and 0.85 (LF), 0.93 and 0.87 (LFpen) and 0.85 and 0.76 (FC). The ICDAS II kappa values were 0.51 (interexaminer) and 0.61 (intraexaminer). The BW kappa values were 0.50 (interexaminer) and 0.62 (intraexaminer). The Bland and Altman limits of agreement were 46.0 and 38.2 (LF), 55.6 and 40.0 (LFpen) and 1.12 and 0.80 (FC), for intra- and interexaminer reproducibilities. The posttest probability for dentine caries detection was high for BW and LF. In conclusion, LFpen, FC and ICDAS II presented better sensitivity and LF and BW better specificity. ICDAS II combined with BW showed the best performance and is the best combination for detecting caries on occlusal surfaces.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dental Caries / diagnosis*
  • Dental Caries Activity Tests / instrumentation*
  • Dental Enamel / diagnostic imaging
  • Dental Enamel / pathology*
  • Fluorescence
  • Humans
  • Lasers
  • Molar / diagnostic imaging
  • Molar / pathology*
  • Observer Variation
  • Radiography, Dental
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics, Nonparametric