Decision Aids for the Management of Suspicious Occlusal Caries Lesions (SOCL)

Précis:

The study examines the use of two diagnostic devices on dental practitioners' identification and treatment of SOCLs. A total of  90 practitioners throughout the nation will collect and record descriptive and treatment information for 40 SOCLs (one lesion/patient), 20 during the pre-intervention period and 20 during the intervention period. Practitioners will be randomized into one of three arms:  no diagnostic device, DIAGNOdent, and Spectra. They will also complete diagnostic vignettes at the beginning and end of each study, as well as a post-study questionnaire.

Objectives:

The primary objective of the study is to quantify the difference in proportion of SOCLs treated operatively when a diagnostic device is used compared to when one is not used, and to quantify the difference in proportion of SOCLs treated operatively that extend into dentin when a diagnostic device is used compared to when one is not used.

The secondary objectives of the study are to:

  • Identify the clinical characteristics of SOCLs that best predict caries that extend into dentin;
  • Determine whether the principal factors used by participating practitioners in managing SOCLs change when a caries detecting device is employed; and
  • Obtain practitioners' assessments of the utility of the devices in their practices.