A clinical study of a laser fluorescence device for the detection of approximal caries in primary molars

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Abstract

Objective.

To evaluate the efficacy of laser fluorescence (LF) device in detecting approximal caries in primary molars.

Methods.

Two hundred and sixteen primary molars from 96 children were inspected visually to identify possible caries with contact approximal surfaces. Target molars and their contralateral molars were examined using bitewing radiographs (BR) and LF. Depending on the examination findings, invasive treatments were performed on molars to identify the presence of cavitation.

Results.

Of 256 surfaces evaluated from 216 primary molars, 128 were intact, 39 had white spots, and 89 had cavities. At the white-spot threshold, sensitivity and specificity, respectively, were 2.56% and 94.87% for visual inspection (VI); 64.10% and 97.43% for BR; and 56.41% and 94.87% for LF. At the cavity threshold, sensitivity and specificity, respectively, were 70.79% and 95.51% for VI; 97.75% and 93.26% for BR; and 92.14% and 97.75% for LF. Significant differences between intact surfaces and white spots, and white spots and cavities were shown through LF readings.

Conclusions.

Both LF and BR can detect cavitations on approximal surfaces of primary molars. LF could be an alternative to radiographs in detecting approximal caries in primary molars.

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