Examiner agreement between hygienists and dentists for caries prevalence examinations

J Public Health Dent. 1990 Winter;50(1):32-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.1990.tb03555.x.


Dentists have been used as examiners in caries prevalence examinations almost exclusively. Only rarely have dental hygienists been reported as examiners in these types of studies. This article describes the degree of agreement for prevalence data (DMFT, dmft) and specific caries prediction information collected by hygienist-screeners and dentist-examiners. A total of 5,233 first- and fifth-grade children were screened by hygienist-screeners using a tongue blade only and then examined by dentist-examiners using an explorer and mirror. Agreement was analyzed in terms of percent agreement and the kappa statistic. The values for screener-hygienist dentist-examiner agreement were compared to interexaminer and interscreener reliability values. Means were also calculated for the caries indices. The results indicated good agreement for the caries indices between the screener-hygienist and dentist-examiner. Agreement for the prediction indices tended to be lower. The results suggest that hygienists can be used as examiners in caries prevalence studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / diagnosis
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Dental Hygienists*
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Dentists*
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Observer Variation
  • Prevalence
  • Random Allocation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tooth, Deciduous