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Caries Res. 2013;47(4):309-17. doi: 10.1159/000346691. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Review of 36,537 patient records for tooth health and longevity of dental restorations.

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Health Center of Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland.


To develop an automatic system for utilizing electronic dental records, a data mining system to extract the diagnostic and treatment codes from the records for an intermediate file and automatic drawing of Kaplan-Meier-type survival curves was first created. Then this intermediate file was analyzed with SAS software for the scientific determination of Kaplan-Meier survival of tooth/surface-specific healthy time and survival of restorations in each permanent tooth, health center, and age cohort and also combined. All patients born in 1985, 1990 or 1995 in 28 health centers in Finland were analyzed. Patients classified as caries-active were those who had caries in any first permanent molar under the age of 8 years, while resistant patients did not have caries in these teeth before 10 years. In the younger age cohorts, a shortening of survival of caries-free teeth was seen. The shortest caries-free survival was seen in mandibular and maxillary molars in the youngest age cohort. Occlusal surfaces of molars determined their caries onsets and proximal caries occurred equally in molars, incisors and premolars, whereas canines or mandibular incisors did not have caries in these age cohorts. Caries-prone subjects had the shortest survival in all their teeth. The median longevity of all restorations was 11.7 years, with great variation between health centers and teeth. Because of the great variation between individual teeth, the tooth-specific approach seems appropriate in both caries epidemiology and material sciences.

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