How long does it take to examine young children with the caries ICDAS system and how do they respond?




A caries-epidemiological study using the ICDASepi-merged system was conducted in Colombian young children. This study aimed at associating the time needed for the clinical examination of caries and caries risk in 1 to 5-year-old children according to age and caries risk, and to assess behavior and child pain self-perception during examination according to age. After IRB approval and given parents/caregivers’ informed consent, seven trained examiners assessed 1 to 5-year olds in kindergartens under local field conditions. ICDASepi-merged caries experience (depiMEmf) was assessed as follows: Initial-depi (ICDAS 1/2 without air-drying); Moderate-dM (ICDAS 3,4); Extensive-dE (ICDAS 5,6) lesions; due-to-caries fillings-f and missing-m surfaces/teeth. Caries risk was assessed with Cariogram®. Child’s behavior (Frankl-Behavior-Rating-Scale) and self-perceived pain (Visual-Analogue-Scale-of-Faces) during examination were evaluated. Clinical examination time was recorded with a stopwatch. A total of 592 children participated (1-yr.: n=31; 2-yrs.: n=96; 3-yrs.: n=155; 4-yrs.: n=209, 5-yrs.: n=101). The depiMEmfs prevalence was of 79.9% and the mean 8.4±10.4. Most were high-caries-risk children (68.9%). The majority (58.9%) showed ≥ positive-behavior and ≤ light-pain self-perception (88.4%). Mean clinical examination time was around 3.5 minutes (216.9±133.9 seconds). For 5-yr. olds it corresponded to 4 minutes (240.4±145.0 seconds) vs. 2 minutes (122.8±80.1 seconds) for 1-yr. olds (Kruskal-Wallis; p=0.00). For high- and low-caries risk children it was around 4.3 minutes (255.7±118.5 seconds) and 3.3 minutes (201.3±129.4 seconds), respectively (ANOVA; p=0.01). This study demonstrates using the ICDAS system in young children is feasible, taking less than 4 minutes for the clinical examination without children behavior/pain self-perception issues.

Palabras clave


Dental caries, Epidemiology, Diagnosis


Pruebas de actividad de caries dental
Caries dental