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Schweiz Monatsschr Zahnmed. 1994;104(6):719-23.

The effect of experience and training on the diagnosis of approximal coronal caries from bitewing radiographs. A Swiss-American comparison.

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Klinik für Kieferorthopädie, Universität Bern.


The purpose of the present study was to compare the development of skills in the radiographic diagnosis of approximal coronal caries. Swiss (Bern) and American (Alabama) dental students with and without clinical experience, Swiss general practitioners, and Swiss and American dental school faculty viewed bitewing radiographic films of 13 teeth. The observers examined the 26 approximal surfaces on the radiographic films and responded, on a five point certainty scale, whether approximal caries was present. Mean sensitivity ranged from a low of 0.59 for American faculty to a high of 0.80 for Swiss students with clinical experience, mean specificity ranged from 0.84 for Swiss pre-clinical students to 0.95 for American faculty. For a summary measure of accuracy, i.e., area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, the scores for student observers tended to increase with experience. The scores for Swiss and American students with clinical experience and faculty did not differ significantly. Inter-examiner agreement (Kappa) could only be characterized as moderate at best. Formal didactic instruction and clinical experience produced dental students with skills in the diagnosis of approximal caries from bitewing radiographs similar to that of faculty dentists.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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