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Title: Validity of caries risk assessment programmes in preschool children
Authors: Gao, X.
Di Wu, I.
Lo, E.C.M.
Chu, C.H.
Hsu, C.-Y.S. 
Wong, M.C.M.
Keywords: Caries risk assessment
Early childhood caries
Multifactorial modeling
Prospective study
Sensitivity Specificity
Issue Date: Sep-2013
Citation: Gao, X., Di Wu, I., Lo, E.C.M., Chu, C.H., Hsu, C.-Y.S., Wong, M.C.M. (2013-09). Validity of caries risk assessment programmes in preschool children. Journal of Dentistry 41 (9) : 787-795. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Objectives Various programmes have been developed for caries risk assessment (CRA). Nevertheless, scientific evidence on their validity is lacking. This study aimed to compare the validity of 4 CRA programmes (CAT, CAMBRA, Cariogram, and NUS-CRA) in predicting early childhood caries. Methods A total of 544 children aged 3 years underwent oral examination and biological tests (saliva flow rate, salivary buffering capacity and abundance of cariogenic bacteria mutans Streptococci and Lactobacilli). Their parents completed a questionnaire. Children's caries risk was predicted using the 4 study programmes without biological tests (screening mode) and with biological tests (comprehensive mode). After 12 months, caries increment in 485 (89%) children was recorded and compared with the baseline risk predictions. Results Reasoning-based programmes (CAT and CAMBRA screening) had high sensitivity (≥93.8%) but low specificity (≤43.6%) in predicting caries in children. CAMBRA comprehensive assessment reached a better balance (sensitivity/ specificity of 83.7%/62.9%). Algorithm-based programmes (Cariogram and NUS-CRA) generated better predictions. The sensitivity/specificity of NUS-CRA screening and comprehensive models were 73.6%/84.7% and 78.1%/85.3%, respectively, higher than those of the Cariogram screening (62.9%/77.9%) and comprehensive assessment (64.6%/78.5%). NUS-CRA comprehensive model met the criteria for a useful CRA tool (sensitivity + specificity ≥ 160%), while its screening model approached that target. Conclusions Our results supported algorithm-based approach of caries risk modelling and the usefulness of NUS-CRA in identifying children susceptible to caries. Clinical significance This prospective study provided evidence for practitioners to select tools for assessing children's caries risk, so that prevention measures can be tailored and treatment plan can be optimised. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Source Title: Journal of Dentistry
ISSN: 03005712
DOI: 10.1016/j.jdent.2013.06.005
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