Diagnostic methods for dental caries used by private dental practitioners in Ankara
Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the preference profiles of various types of diagnostic tools and methods used by private dental practitioners in Ankara for detecting dental caries.
Methods: Private dental practitioners, in five districts of Ankara, were provided with questionnaires comprising demographic characteristics, possession of dental imaging systems, and methods used for caries diagnosis. The questionnaires were retrieved after 1-3 visits. Of 722 questionnaires, 371 were returned. Data were analyzed using frequency analysis and Chi-square tests.
Results: The completed questionnaires were obtained from 160 women and 168 men, the response rate was 51.4%; aged 25-69 years; 28.4% of them were specialists. Most participants possessed a dental radiography (RG) device. Air drying and sharp explorers were the most commonly preferred methods used for caries diagnosis. There was no significant association between using a sharp explorer and sex or being a specialist (P = 0.110, 0.226, respectively). Almost one-third of the dentists with an experience of <11 years, never used an RG device to detect occlusal caries (P = 0.003). Only three participants reported the use of DIAGNOdent, while two participants used fiber-optic transillumination (FOTI).
Conclusions: It was observed that visual-tactile examination using sharp explorer accompanied with radiographs were among the main instruments used for detecting carious lesions. Usage of magnification tools, FOTI, and DIAGNOdent were low.
Keywords: Caries, dental health, diagnostic research, epidemiology, oral health