Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, ISSN - 0973 - 709X

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Original article / research
Year : 2018 | Month : July | Volume : 12 | Issue : 7 | Page : ZC06 - ZC10

Effect of Different Lighting Conditions on Proximal Caries Detection in Dental School Settings

Mohammed Alsaati, Thomas Deahl, Marcel Noujeim

1. Clinical Instructor, Department of Dental, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA. 2. Assistant Professor, Department of Comprehensive Dentistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA. 3. Professor, Department of Comprehensive Dentistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA.

Correspondence Address :
Dr. Mohammed Alsaati,
7703 Floydcurl Drive, San Antonio, Texas, USA.


Introduction: Environmental factors, including ambient light, play an important role in caries detection. Dental private practices and dental school clinics are exposed to extraneous light from fluorescent fixtures operative unit lights and/or windows. In previous studies, visual fatigue and impaired diagnostic accuracy are found to be associated with the viewing conditions.

Aim: The study aims to evaluate and compare dental studentsí performance at detecting proximal caries on intraoral digital radiographs, under different ambient light conditions.

Materials and Methods: Eight randomly chosen senior dental students and a dentist evaluated intraoral digital images of 32 extracted teeth mounted in 12 quadrants. Almost half of the teeth are courteous as confirmed by histology. The illuminance measuring unit (Lux) is used to measure the light conditions at luminous flux per unit area. Raters viewed the images in ambient light conditions i.e., dim light settings (Less than 50 Lux) and in bright light settings (more than 800 Lux). Images were viewed with the same calibrated monitor. All other viewing conditions were controlled. Raters stated their certainty of caries presence on a 5-point scale. Sensitivity, specificity and Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve was calculated for all observations and for both light settings.

Results: Raters performed at a higher specificity under dim light conditions, statistically significant (at the 0.05). ROC analysis showed that the overall performance under dim light environment was better than the bright light environment (0.745 vs. 0.710), which was physically significant (at the 0.05).

Conclusion: The results support reducing ambient light levels to rule out caries, as there is a significantly higher specificity and performance in a dim light environment compared to bright one.


Ambient light, Calibration, Digital radiographs, Illuminance, Photometer

How to cite this article :

Mohammed Alsaati, Thomas Deahl, Marcel Noujeim. EFFECT OF DIFFERENT LIGHTING CONDITIONS ON PROXIMAL CARIES DETECTION IN DENTAL SCHOOL SETTINGS. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research [serial online] 2018 July [cited: 2018 Aug 15 ]; 12:ZC06-ZC10. Available from

DOI and Others

DOI: 10.7860/JCDR/2018/34353.11734

Date of Submission: Oct 15, 2017
Date of Peer Review: Feb 02, 2018
Date of Acceptance: Jun 01, 2018
Date of Publishing: Jul 01, 2018


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