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Eur J Oral Sci. 2001 Feb;109(1):14-9.

Clinical performance of a laser fluorescence device for detection of occlusal caries lesions.

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Department of Operative, Preventive and Paediatric Dentistry, School of Dental Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland.


Children and adolescents must be examined often for occlusal caries. Diagnosis of fissure caries is difficult especially when the tooth surface appears seemingly intact. It has been shown that using traditional clinical methods, as little as 20% of teeth with fissure caries under intact surfaces were correctly recognised as such. Therefore, new methods for increasing the accuracy of diagnosis have been sought for years. Recently, a new device, based on fluorescence measurements, was introduced. The purpose of this study was to test the device under in vivo conditions in order to provide recommendations for its use in the dental office. Seven general dental practitioners examined a total of 332 occlusal surfaces in 240 patients. Caries extent was determined for each site after operative intervention (='gold standard'). Clinical inspection and analysis of bitewing radiographs exhibited statistically significant lower sensitivities (31-63%) than did the DIAGNOdent device (sensitivity > or = 92%). It is recommended that the laser device is used in the decision-making process in relation to the diagnosis of occlusal caries as a second opinion in cases of doubt after visual inspection.

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