Title: 0822 - Changes in Treatment of Suspicious-Occlusal-Caries Lesions: Results From National-Dental-PRBN


Valeria Gordan, University of Florida
Sonia Makhija, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Cyril Meyerowitz, University of Rochester/Eastman Institute for Oral Health
David Cochran, University of Texas at San Antonio
Donald Rindal, HealthPartners
Jeffrey Fellows, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research
Gregg Gilbert, University of Alabama at Birmingham
James Johnson (Presenter)
University of Florida

Jay Fisher, Private Practice
Joseph Riley, University of Florida


Objectives: This study examined the impact of attending a National Dental Practice-based Research Network ( meeting on practitioners’ treatment decisions for suspicious occlusal caries lesions (SOCL).

Methods: Initially, the 150 participating practitioners completed a short questionnaire about practice characteristics, their viewpoints on useful cues (color, luster, tooth type and locations, feel of lesion, and patient risk) in the diagnosis of SOCL, and clinical case scenarios (vignettes) of SOCL patients. For each vignette, practitioners selected the severity and depth of the lesion at which point they would perform surgical treatment. Practitioners then attended a 20-minute presentation that described findings from a network study detailing how network dentists assessed and treated SOCL. Then they participated in a 45-minute small group breakout discussion and a panel discussion led by table leaders. Concluding with a follow-up questionnaire that repeated the initial questions about SOCL cues and clinical scenarios.

Results: Results showed a shift in the choice of most-useful cues with an increased selection of caries risk and corresponding decrease in the importance of the feel of the lesion with a probe/explorer. There was little change in the importance of color. Tooth type and location in the arch were seldom chosen as useful cues. In both the high-and low-risk patient scenarios, following the SOCL presentation and discussion, a significant shift (p < .001) occurred towards delaying surgical treatment to a deeper lesion depth. There was also a significant change towards no difference in the probability of surgical intervention after the discussion regarding the use of a SOCL diagnostic device (p = .028).

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that dissemination of research findings to practitioners in a Network meeting has the potential to affect practitioners’ intention to treat SOCL. Support: NIH/NIDCR-U19-DE-22516.

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source:

Disclosure Statement:
The submitter must disclose the names of the organizations with which any author have a relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the clinical or research area involved. The following is submitted: NONE

Group Authors: National Dental PBRN Collaborative Group The National Dental PBRN Collaborative Group comprises practitioner, faculty, and staff investigators who contributed to this network activity. A list of these persons is at; University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL.