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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790X


NARVAI, Paulo Capel; BIAZEVIC, Maria Gabriela Haye; JUNQUEIRA, Simone Rennó  and  PONTES, Elenir Rose Cury Jardim. Diagnosis of dental caries: comparing results of three epidemiological surveys from the same population. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2001, vol.4, n.2, pp.72-80. ISSN 1415-790X.

INTRODUCTION: The DMF-T index is the most widely used instrument to estimate prevalence of dental caries on permanent teeth in epidemiological surveys. Since the 60's, the World Health Organization has been recommending standards for oral health surveys to improve validity and reliability of epidemiological data. During this period, different criteria for diagnosis and coding the observations have been used. OBJECTIVE: To compare data from the same population using different standardizations for DMF-T and dmf-t indexes in order to verify if changing dental caries criteria redounds to different population estimates. MATERIAL AND METHOD: Data from three epidemiological surveys carried out in the City of São Paulo in 1996 and 1998 were analyzed. These surveys had different methodological aspects as sample design and calibration of examiners. DMF-T averages and value distribution related to schoolchildren from 6 to 12 years of age were analyzed comparing averages and proportions. RESULTS: No significant difference was observed between averages. There were no significant differences in percentages of caries- free individuals in relation to deciduous dentition, unlike permanent teeth. CONCLUSION: Different criteria used to define dental caries did not lead to different averages and percentages in these three surveys.

Keywords : DMF index; Dental caries [diagnosis]; Epidemiology; Calibration.

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