Diagnosis and management of dental caries

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Record ID 32001000976
Authors' objectives:

This review aims to address three related questions concerning the diagnosis and management of dental caries: (1) the performance (sensitivity, specificity) of currently available diagnostic methods for carious lesions (2) the efficacy of approaches to the management of noncavitated, or initial carious lesions (3) the efficacy of preventive methods in individuals who have experienced or are expected to experience elevated incidence of carious lesions

Authors' recomendations: The strength of the evidence available to estimate the validity of diagnostic methods for carious lesions dental caries is insufficient to the task. For many applications, there are few studies, and when sufficient numbers of studies are available, substantial variation among studies and/or the quality of the studies is problematic. The literature describing the management of two specific dental caries-related conditions, nonsurgical interventions for noncavitated lesions and prevention of lesions in persons at elevated risk for new lesions, is inadequate to permit conclusions about the efficacy of most methods. Only for two specific applications, fluoride varnishes in caries-active, high-risk individuals and fluoride-based interventions for individuals receiving radiotherapy was the evidence rated as fair. For all other management methods, the evidence was judged to be incomplete. The need for efficacy determinations is acute as much of modern preventive dental practice is predicated on the efficacy of management methods for these conditions.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2001
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: United States
MeSH Terms
  • Fluorides
  • Dental Caries
Organisation Name: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Contact Address: Center for Outcomes and Evidence Technology Assessment Program, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850, USA. Tel: +1 301 427 1610; Fax: +1 301 427 1639;
Contact Name: martin.erlichman@ahrq.hhs.gov
Contact Email: martin.erlichman@ahrq.hhs.gov
Copyright: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.