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Caries Res. 2010;44(3):294-9. doi: 10.1159/000314811. Epub 2010 May 27.

Reliability of two clinical scoring systems for dental erosive wear.

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Department of Cariology, Institute of Clinical Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.


The aim of the study was to evaluate and compare two dental erosive wear scoring systems, the Visual Erosion Dental Examination (VEDE) and Basic Erosive Wear Examination (BEWE). Seventy-four tooth surfaces (photographs) and 562 surfaces (in participants) were scored by 5 (photographs) or 3 (in participants) clinicians using both scoring systems. The surfaces in the photographs were scored twice. The level of agreement was measured by weighted kappa (kappa(w)). Inter- and intraexaminer agreement showed small variations between the examiners for both systems when scoring the photographs. Slightly higher mean kappa(w) values were found for VEDE (kappa(w) = 0.77) compared with BEWE (kappa(w) = 0.69). When scoring the surfaces in the clinical examination the mean kappa(w) values for the two systems were equal (kappa(w) = 0.73). Interexaminer agreement using VEDE was calculated to see how differentiation between enamel and dentine lesions influenced the variability. The highest agreement was found for score 0 (sound, 86%) and score 3 (exposure of dentine, 67%), while the smallest agreement was shown for score 1 (initial loss of enamel, 30%) and score 2 (pronounced loss of enamel, 57%). The reliability of the two scoring systems proved acceptable for scoring the severity of dental erosive wear and for recording such lesions in prevalence studies. The greatest difficulties were found when scoring enamel lesions, especially initial lesions, while good agreement was observed when examining sound surfaces (score 0) and dentine lesions (score 3).

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