Influence of professional experience on detection and treatment decision of occlusal caries lesions in primary teeth
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To evaluate the influence of examiner's clinical experience on detection and treatment decision of caries lesions in primary molars. Design Three experienced dentists (Group A) and three undergraduate students (Group B) used the International Caries Detection and Assessment System (ICDAS) criteria and bitewing radiographs (BW) to perform examinations twice in 77 primary molars that presented a sound or carious occlusal surface. For the treatment decision (TD), the examiners attributed scores, analyzing the teeth in conjunction with the radiographs. The presence and the depth of lesion were validated histologically, and reproducibility was evaluated. The sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and area under the ROC curve values were calculated for ICDAS and BW. The associations between ICDAS, BW, and TD were analyzed by means of contingency tables. Results Interexaminer agreement for ICDAS, BW, and TD were excellent for Group B and moderate for Group A. The two groups presented similar and satisfactory performance for caries lesion detection using ICDAS and BW. In the treatment decision, Group A was shown to have a less invasive approach than Group B. Conclusion The examiner's experience was not determinant for the clinical and radiographic detection of occlusal lesions in primary teeth but influenced the treatment decision of initial lesions.