The use of a self-report questionnaire for dental health status assessment: A preliminary study

L. Levin, I. Shpigel, B. Peretz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives The aim of this work was to evaluate and validate a new questionnaire for caries assessment of large populations as well as to correlate the results from the questionnaire with the caries lesions detected in clinical and radiographic evaluation.Methods The study population included 460 young adults who arrived to a dental screening provided to all army recruits. Clinical and radiographic examinations were performed to all participants as part of the routine dental screening; two bite-wing radiographs were taken as well. The World Health Organization (WHO) caries diagnostic criterion for decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) was also calculated. First, a questionnaire that included 20 questions regarding different caries risk factors such as socioeconomic status, dietary habits, smoking habits, dental treatment experience etc was filled by all participants. At the next stage, according to the statistical analysis finding, a new questionnaire based on the most predictive questions and answers for DMFT forecast was developed.Results The mean total DMFT was 3.71 ± 4.2. DMFT value of 0 (caries free) was found in 28.8% of the participants while no caries lesion (D = 0) was detected in 52.9%. The new questionnaire developed consisted of the most predictive ten questions. When evaluating the ROC curves for the new questionnaire score in prediction of dental caries lesions, the area under the curve was found to be 85.7% (95% confidence interval was between 81.2% and 90.2%). The total value of 5.5 points in the new questionnaire was chosen as a cut-off for caries risk assessment and revealed sensitivity of 85.1% and false positive of 29%.Conclusions The use of a simple and easy questionnaire might serve as a good screening tool for large populations such as army recruits in order to identify the group of high risk populations that require more intensive intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE15
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 9 Mar 2013


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