Validation of Visual Caries Activity Assessment: A 2-yr Cohort Study

J Dent Res. 2014 Jul;93(7 Suppl):101S-107S. doi: 10.1177/0022034514531017. Epub 2014 Apr 8.


We evaluated the predictive and construct validity of a caries activity assessment system associated with the International Caries Detection and Assessment System (ICDAS) in primary teeth. A total of 469 children were reexamined: participants of a caries survey performed 2 yr before (follow-up rate of 73.4%). At baseline, children (12-59 mo old) were examined with the ICDAS and a caries activity assessment system. The predictive validity was assessed by evaluating the risk of active caries lesion progression to more severe conditions in the follow-up, compared with inactive lesions. We also assessed if children with a higher number of active caries lesions were more likely to develop new lesions (construct validity). Noncavitated active caries lesions at occlusal surfaces presented higher risk of progression than inactive ones. Children with a higher number of active lesions and with higher caries experience presented higher risk of developing new lesions. In conclusion, the caries activity system associated with the ICDAS presents predictive and construct validity in primary teeth in the assessment of occlusal caries lesions, but predictive validity was not observed in smooth surfaces.

Keywords: ICDAS; dental caries; diagnosis; longitudinal studies; preschool children; validity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / diagnosis
  • Dental Caries Activity Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Dental Caries Susceptibility*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Observer Variation
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Assessment
  • Tooth Remineralization / statistics & numerical data
  • Tooth, Deciduous / pathology