Journal of Conservative Dentistry
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 311-318

Evaluation of dental explorer and visual inspection for the detection of residual caries among Greek dentists

Department of Operative Dentistry, School of Dentistry, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Panagiotis Ntovas
Kladi 1, Glika Nera, 15354 Athens
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JCD.JCD_67_17

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Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess the effect of the operator's degree of clinical experience on the residual caries diagnosis through visual inspection and tactile sensation. Materials and Methods: The participants were asked about the years of their clinical practice, any further training concerning cariology, their familiarity with the minimal invasive philosophy, and the techniques that they use to remove dental caries and detect when to stop the removal of carious tissues. In addition, an in vitro diagnostic test was conducted. Carious teeth were excavated to a level selected in random. Teeth were examined by each participant individually. Initial examination was performed by visual inspection. Subsequently, a dental explorer was used concerning the potential need for further removal of dental tissues. A sample of 380 dentists and dental school students were selected for the purposes of this study. Results: Dental students presented statistically significant better sensitivity, than dentists from both age groups, during both visual inspection and tactile sensation of residual caries. Participants' ability to diagnose residual caries during cavity preparation was independent of their years of experience. Conclusions: During the removal of carious lesions, with the goal of limiting the sacrifice of healthy structures and the leftover of residual caries, clinicians should combine a selective removal technique and the attentive visual inspection, with at least one further diagnostic method, aside from the dental explorer. Tactile examination of residual caries solely with the dental explorer must be used with attention.

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