The Characteristics of Measuring Dental Caries, Periodontal Disease, and Oral Cancer

While measuring dental caries, periodontal disease, and oral cancer, it is necessary to focus on certain features or signs that allow for concluding regarding the development of the disease. For dental caries, the main measurement is the “presence of ‘cavity’” (Chattopadhyay, Arevalo, & Sohn, 2008, p. 368). In their study, Chattopadhyay et al. (2008) also note that, in some cases, it is important to count cavitated and precipitated lesions (p. 369). The dental index that is mainly used to complete the necessary measurement is the Decayed Missing Filled (DMF) index, and it is associated with points 0-32 while referring to the tooth examination and points 0-128 while being applied to measuring the tooth surface (Chattopadhyay et al., 2008). This index provides the general conclusion regarding the presence of caries (Broadbent & Thomson, 2005). The periodontal disease can be measured with reference to examining the “mesial, distal, lingual, and buccal surfaces of the teeth” (Chattopadhyay et al., 2008, p. 371). In the study by Meyer, Joshipura, Giovannucci, and Michaud (2008), the number of missing teeth, the overall oral status, and the alcohol and tobacco consumption are used as indicators in order to diagnose oral cancer.

It is also important to concentrate on how different dental indices can be applied in studies and health projects. In addition to the DMF index that is used to measure dental caries, Broadbent and Thomson (2005) also name the simple caries increment used in longitudinal studies, the crude caries increment used in person-level studies when it is necessary to compare results, the net caries increment used to identify caries reversals, and the adjusted caries increment (p. 401). In their turn, Chattopadhyay et al. (2008) list more indices that can be used to measure periodontal disease. They are the Community Periodontal Index of Treatment Needs (CPITN) used to evaluate the needs regarding treatment, the Extent and Severity Index (ESI), and the Periodontal Disease Index (PDI) providing the complex assessment of the problem (Chattopadhyay et al., 2008, p. 372). While focusing on oral cancer, the National Oral Health Surveillance System (NOHSS) indicators are often used to conclude regarding the issue (Chattopadhyay et al., 2008).

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In spite of the fact that the mentioned indices are actively utilized in different studies to provide the immediate assessment, as well as the longitudinal examination, they also have certain weaknesses or limitations. Broadbent and Thomson (2005) state that the main problem associated with using the DMF index is that when the maximum value is used for the ‘missing’ component, there are possibilities for the overestimation of the patient’s experience regarding the development of dental caries. The researchers also note that the minimum value should not be used in this case. The problem is also in the fact that the DMF index does not indicate what particular treatment can be used for restoring the tooth or preventing the problem (Broadbent & Thomson, 2005). In addition, the use of the DMF index is more appropriate for cross-sectional studies or immediate examinations when longitudinal studies require the use of other indices, such as the net caries increment or adjusted caries increment (Broadbent & Thomson, 2005; Chattopadhyay et al., 2008). Still, in some cases, the adjusted caries increment is also difficult to interpret, and the net caries increment can be selected for the examination. As a result, the researchers propose the use of different indices for concrete situations to collect the most appropriate information and propose the effective treatment if it is necessary.

References

Broadbent, J. M., & Thomson, W. M. (2005). For debate: Problems with the DMF index pertinent to dental caries data analysis. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 33(6), 400-409.

Chattopadhyay, A., Arevalo, O., & Sohn, W. (2008). Understanding measurement of dental diseases and research participation in practice set-up. Dental Public Health, 52(2), 367-386.

Meyer, M. S., Joshipura, K., Giovannucci, E., & Michaud, D. S. (2008). A review of the relationship between tooth loss, periodontal disease, and cancer. Cancer Causes & Control, 19(9), 895-907.

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AssignZen. 2022. "The Characteristics of Measuring Dental Caries, Periodontal Disease, and Oral Cancer." July 8, 2022. https://assignzen.com/the-characteristics-of-measuring-dental-caries-periodontal-disease-and-oral-cancer/.

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