Influence of artificial light on prevalence of DMF index in institutionalized adolescents

Suzely Adas Saliba Moimaz, Nemre Adas Saliba, Ronald Jefferson Martins, Ana Cristina Murakawa


Purpose: To compare the values of DMF index recorded by clinical exams using natural or artificial light.
Methods: The study population comprised adolescents of the Young People Foundation Institution of Araçatuba city, São Paulo State, Brazil. Sample consisted of subjects with ages between 15 and 17 years old, randomly selected (n=38). The first clinical exam was performed under natural light with a regular mirror and a probe; the second exam was performed under artificial light with a mirror equipped with light DenliteTM (Welch & Allyn, USA). The DMF index was used according to codes and standards recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO, 1997).
Results: The mean DMF was 6.03 (DP=3.90) with clinical exam using natural light and 5.58 (DP=4.38) with artificial light. The caries prevalence measured with and without artificial illumination showed similar results, and the Spearman correlation coefficient was rs=0.87 (P < 0.05). Regarding treatment needs, there was an increase of the number of teeth diagnosed as healthy and a decrease of cases of caries in one dental surface when artificial light was used.
Conclusion: DMF values were similar using both types of light, but treatment needs for posterior teeth and for one dental surface were reduced with the artificial light.
Key words: Diagnosis; dental caries; DMF index


Diagnosis; dental caries; DMF index

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e-ISSN: 1980-6523

ISSN-L: 0102-9460


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