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J Biomed Opt. 2010 Jul-Aug;15(4):047005. doi: 10.1117/1.3463007.

New methodology to assess activity status of occlusal caries in primary teeth using laser fluorescence device.

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Departmento de Ortodontia e Odontopediatria, Faculdade de Odontologia da Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, SO, Brazil.


An in vivo study was conducted to verify the ability of laser fluorescence (LF) to assess the activity status of occlusal caries in primary teeth, using different air-drying times. Occlusal sites (707) were examined using LF (DIAGNOdent) after air-drying for 3 s and 15 s, and the difference between readings (DIF15 s-3 s) was calculated. For concurrent validation of LF, visual criteria-Nyvad (NY) and Lesion Activity Assessment associated with the International Caries Detection and Assessment System (LAA-ICDAS)-were the reference standards for lesion activity. Histological exam using a pH-indicator dye (0.1% methyl red) was performed in 46 exfoliated/extracted teeth for criterion validation. LF readings and DIF15 s-3 s were compared using Kruskall-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests. Receiver operating characteristic analyses were performed and validity parameters calculated, considering the caries activity assessment. Using NY, active lesions (3 s: 30.0+/-29.3; 15 s: 34.2+/-30.6) presented higher LF readings than inactive lesions (3 s: 17.0+/-16.3; 15 s: 19.2+/-17.3; p<0.05), different from LAA-ICDAS. Active cavitated caries resulted in higher LF readings (3 s: 50.3+/-3.5; 15 s: 54.7+/-30.2) than inactive cavitated caries (3 s: 19.9+/-16.3; 15 s: 22.8+/-16.8). Therefore, LF can distinguish cavitated active and inactive lesions classified by NY, but not by LAA-ICDAS; however, this difference might be related to the visual system rather than to LF. The air-drying time could be an alternative to improve the caries activity assessment; however, longer air-drying time is suggested to be tested subsequently.

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