Caries Prediction using CariScreen for Caries Risk Assessment in Children
Purpose: to evaluate the value of CariScreen meter as a part of the caries risk assessment tool in new caries prediction compared to cariogenic bacteria enumeration by culture (gold standard).
Methods: Eighty 6-17 year-old children were recruited. At baseline and one year, oral bacterial levels were analyzed by CariScreen meter and culture (Mutans Streptoccoci (MS) and Lactobacilli) together with caries risk assessment (CRA) and caries scores were recorded using International Caries Detection an Assessment System (ICDAS). Correlations between the new caries at one-year and baseline Cariscreen or bacteria levels were computed. Incidence and severity of new caries were compared in risk-categories by Cariscreen or culture alone or combined with CRA at baseline using SPSS 22.
Results: Fifty-three subjects completed the one-year visit. 83.0% subjects were high risk at baseline with only 9 (17.0%) at low/moderate risk by CRA at baseline and 57% of them presented with new decay. CariScreen readings at baseline showed nearly no correlation with new decayed surfaces at one year (Spearman correlation coefficient of 0.04-0.05, P=0.73-0.79 for both sites). No trend of statistical significant differences was found for prevalence or severity of new decay at one year between high and low bacterial challenge at baseline measured by Cariscreen (P>0.67) while there was a trend of lower prevalence and severity of new decay at one year in low challenge by MS culture at baseline (P=0.15). The median for new decayed surfaces at one year were 0 and 1, respectively for low/moderate and high caries risk groups by CRA only (Kruskal-Wallis test, P = 0.11); 1 and 1 for low/moderate and high caries risk groups by CRA combined with Cariscreen (Kruskal-Wallis test, P=0.99); and 0 and 1 for low/moderate and high caries risk groups by CRA combined with MS levels (Kruskal-Wallis test, P = 0.10).
Conclusions: CariScreen meter measurement alone or combined with CRA at baseline showed no evidence in prediction of new decay after one year. CRA alone or combined with MS culture showed potential in predicting new caries in one year but this needs to be further confirmed with larger sample size study especially with more low/moderate risk subjects.