Purpose: To evaluate the reproducibility of visual exams under natural light (VE1), visual exams under artificial light (VE2), radiographic bitewing exams (BW), fibre optic transillumination exams (FOTI) and DIAGNOdent exams (DD) in epidemiological settings.
Materials and Methods: Three examiners and one benchmark examiner examined thirteen 12-year-old schoolchildren under epidemiological conditions for the D3 (carious lesions in dentin) and D1+D3 (carious lesions in enamel or dentin) diagnostic criteria.
Results: The reproducibility (intra/interexaminer agreement) under both diagnostic criteria was almost perfect for the exams VE1 (D3: κintra = 0.91/κinter = 0.85; D1+D3: κintra = 0.89/κinter = 0.84), VE2 (D3: κintra = 0.91/κinter = 0.85; D1+D3: κintra = 0.88/κinter = 0.83), BW (D3: κintra = 0.95/κinter = 0.92; D1+D3: κintra = 0.99/κinter = 0.90) and FOTI (D3: κintra = 0.97/κinter = 0.93; D1+D3: κintra = 0.87/κinter = 0.83) exams and ‘fair for the DD exam (D3: κintra = 0.36/κinter = 0.35; D1+D3: κintra = 0.30/κinter = 0.32).
Conclusion: It was concluded that the VE1, VE2, BW, and FOTI exams presented good reproducibility under epidemiological conditions, and can be used accurately in epidemiological surveys.
Keywords: dental caries, diagnosis, epidemiology