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Oper Dent. 2009 Mar-Apr;34(2):136-41. doi: 10.2341/08-54.

In vivo evaluation of DIAGNOdent for the quantification of occlusal dental caries.

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Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


The accurate diagnosis of non-cavitated occlusal caries is generally considered problematic. Induced fluorescence quantified by the DIAGNOdent device (KaVo) gives a reading from 0-99, which may help in the caries diagnostic process. There is some controversy around the implication of increased severity of decay with increased DIAGNOdent readings. This in vivo study assessed the correlation of depth and volume of decay as it was removed by traditional rotary handpieces with DIAGNOdent readings and determined sensitivities/specificities of the device at different cut-off points. Included in the current study were 31 patients providing 60 permanent molar and premolar occlusal surfaces suspected of dentinal decay. DIAGNOdent readings were recorded, along with lesion depth (as measured by periodontal probe) and volume measurements (as calculated from measuring the mass of a polyvinyl siloxane impression of the cavity, divided by the material's calculated density). Clinical detection of decay at the DEJ was used as the gold-standard to calculate an appropriate cut-off. Pearson correlation coefficients indicated that DIAGNOdent readings were weakly correlated with lesion depth (r = 0.47) and lesion volume (also r = 0.47). An appropriate cut-off point for the sample in the current study was calculated between 35 and 40; a more specific cut-off point could not be determined due to the sample size distribution. It was concluded that the DIAGNOdent device should be used as an adjunct in the caries diagnosis and treatment planning process.

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