To view the full text, please login as a subscribed user or purchase a subscription.
Click here to view the full text on ScienceDirect.
Visual inspection (VIS) with radiographic examination (RAD) is the recommended diagnostic strategy for detecting caries in children; however, this recommendation is based on accuracy studies. The authors conducted a clinical trial to compare the detection and subsequent treatment of carious lesions in primary molars performed with VIS alone and with RAD.
Children (3-6 years old) were randomly assigned to 2 groups according to the diagnostic strategy used for caries detection on primary molars: VIS or RAD. Participants were diagnosed and treated according to the management plan related to the allocated group. The primary outcome was the number of new operative interventions during the 2-year follow-up period. Other secondary outcomes were also compared. Comparisons were performed with Mann-Whitney test using an intention-to-treat approach.
Of the 252 children included and randomized, 216 were followed-up after 2 years (14.3% attrition rate). There was no difference between the groups for the primary outcome (P = .476). For the secondary outcomes, the RAD group had more restoration replacements (P = .038) and more restorations performed since the beginning of the study (P = .038) compared with the VIS group. In addition, the RAD group had a higher number of false-positive results than the VIS group (P < .001).
Simultaneous use of VIS and RAD for caries diagnosis in primary molars of children who seek dental treatment does not provide additional benefits compared with VIS alone.
Dentists should perform VIS only, not RAD, for detecting carious lesions in preschool-aged children.