Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 635–641 | Cite as

Performance of laser fluorescence devices, visual and radiographic examination for the detection of occlusal caries in primary molars

  • Klaus W. Neuhaus
  • Jonas Almeida Rodrigues
  • Isabel Hug
  • Herman Stich
  • Adrian Lussi
Original Article


The aim of this in vitro study was to compare the performance of two laser fluorescence devices (LF, LFpen), conventional visual criteria (VE), ICDAS and radiographic examination on occlusal surfaces of primary teeth. Thirty-seven primary human molars were selected from a pool of extracted teeth, which were stored frozen at −20°C until use. Teeth were assessed twice by two experienced examiners using laser fluorescence devices (LF and LFpen), conventional visual criteria, ICDAS and bitewing radiographs, with a 2-week interval between measurements. After measurement, the teeth were histologically prepared and assessed for caries extension. The highest sensitivity was observed for ICDAS at D1 and D3 thresholds, with no statistically significant difference when compared to the LF devices, except at the D3 threshold. Bitewing radiographs presented the lowest values of sensitivity. Specificity at D1 was higher for LFpen (0.90) and for VE at D3 (0.94). When VE was combined with LFpen the post-test probabilities were the highest (94.0% and 89.2% at D1 and D3 thresholds, respectively). High values were observed for the combination of ICDAS and LFpen (92.0% and 80.0%, respectively). LF and LFpen showed the highest values of ICC for interexaminer reproducibility. However, regarding ICDAS, BW and VE, intraexaminer reproducibility was not the same for the two examiners. After primary visual inspection using ICDAS or not, the use of LFpen may aid in the detection of occlusal caries in primary teeth. Bitewing radiographs may be indicated only for approximal caries detection.


Enamel caries Dentin caries Caries assessment Occlusal caries detection Deciduous molars 


Declaration of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus W. Neuhaus
    • 1
  • Jonas Almeida Rodrigues
    • 1
  • Isabel Hug
    • 1
  • Herman Stich
    • 1
  • Adrian Lussi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Preventive, Restorative and Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dental MedicineUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

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