In vitro visual and visible light transillumination methods for detection of natural non-cavitated approximal caries

N. Abogazalah, G. J. Eckert, Masatoshi Ando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objective was to evaluate a visible-light-transillumination (using Digital Imaging Fiber-Optic Transillumination machine: DIFOTI) method using occlusal view (DIFOTI-occl), axial view (buccal and lingual: DIFOTI-axial), and combination of all views (DIFOTI-all) for detecting non-cavitated approximal caries and to compare its performance to visual examination (International Caries Detection and Assessment System: ICDAS). Materials and methods: Thirty extracted human premolars were selected (sound to lesions into the outer one-third of the dentine) based on micro-computed tomography (μ-CT). Teeth were mounted in a custom-made device to simulate approximal contact. DIFOTI (Electro-Optical Sciences Inc., Irvington, NY, USA) images were obtained from the occlusal, buccal, and lingual views. DIFOTI image and ICDAS examinations were performed and repeated by three trained/calibrated examiners. Sensitivity, specificity, area under receiver operating characteristics curve (A z ), inter- and intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs), and correlation were determined. Results: Sensitivity/specificity was for DIFOTI-occl: 0.42/0.75, DIFOTI-axial: 0.86/0.93, DIFOTI-all: 0.91/0.69, and for ICDAS: 0.89/0.83. A z for DIFOTI-occl was significantly lower than that of DIFOTI-axial (p < 0.001), DIFOTI-all (p = 0.002), and ICDAS (p = 0.005). Spearman correlation coefficients with μ-CT for DIFOTI-occl (r = 0.39) showed weak association, while DIFOTI-axial (r = 0.80), DIFOTI-all (r = 0.91), and ICDAS (r = 0.90) showed moderate association. ICCs for intra-examiner repeatability/inter-examiner agreement were for DIFOTI-occl (0.64/0.58), DIFOTI-axial (0.92/0.89), DIFOTI-all (0.85/0.83), and ICDAS (0.79/0.72). Conclusions: The results of the current in vitro study suggest that, for detection of non-cavitated approximal caries lesions, DIFOTI performs better using axial than occlusal view. Clinical relevance: Approximal non-cavitated caries detection is challenging. DIFOTI can observe images from occlusal-, buccal-, and lingual views. DIFOTI and visual (ICDAS) examinations of buccal- and lingual- and all-views are more suitable than those of occlusal view for a detection of non-cavitated approximal caries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1287-1294
Number of pages8
JournalClinical oral investigations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 8 2019


  • Approximal caries
  • Caries detection
  • Digital imaging transillumination
  • Imaging geometry
  • International caries detection and assessment system (ICDAS)
  • Non-cavitated caries lesion
  • Visible light transillumination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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