Clinical evaluation of DIAGNOdent in detection of occlusal caries in newly erupted noncavitated first permanent molars in caries-active children

Oper Dent. 2011 Jul-Aug;36(4):348-55. doi: 10.2341/10-309-C.


Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the in vivo diagnostic ability of a laser fluorescence system (DIAGNOdent, KaVo, Biberac, Germany) with that of visual inspection in the early detection of occlusal caries in newly erupted noncavitated first permanent molars among caries-active children.

Materials and methods: A total of 505 mandibular first permanent molar teeth in 307 children aged 6 to 7 years with decayed, missing, and filled tooth surfaces (DMFS)>8 were examined. Visual examination and DIAGNOdent measurement of caries were compared for teeth with intact occlusal surfaces or varying degrees of fissure discoloration, but with no radiologic evidence of enamel or dentin caries. Teeth were classified according to caries status as sound, enamel caries, or dentin caries using visual examination and DIAGNOdent scoring systems corresponding to histologic definitions of caries depth. Analysis of the results was performed using Cohen's unweighted kappa statistic.

Results: Statistical analysis revealed "poor" agreement between the two diagnostic methods (κ=0.231).

Conclusion: Clinical results suggest that the DIAGNOdent device does not seem to be suitable for accurate diagnosis of early caries lesions in newly erupted first permanent molars.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / diagnosis*
  • Dental Caries Activity Tests* / instrumentation
  • Fluorescence
  • Humans
  • Lasers*
  • Mandible
  • Molar / pathology
  • Observer Variation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity