OBJECTIVE: Research on oral health of hospitalized patients has been limited despite its association with systemic health. This research aims to understand the utilization of minimally invasive techniques to assess carious lesions in hospitalized patients.
METHOD: Between July 2015 and November 2017, 1624 adult patients hospitalized at UCM were eligible for intraoral imaging using Acteon Soprocare intraoral camera. Two examiners assessed these intraoral images for 500 patients based on adapted DMFS index. .
RESULTS: Out of 1624 patients, only 43% agreed to participate in imaging. Primary reasons for refusal include medical conditions and discomfort with camera. From the 74,000 surfaces that should be present, only 85% surfaces could be visually examined. Out of the assessed surfaces, more than 40% were missing. Besides the third molars, mandibular first molars were commonly missing. About 29% patients had less than 20 remaining natural teeth, considered insufficient for a functional dentition. About 12% of the surfaces present had restorations commonly found on the occlusal surfaces of posterior teeth. More than 11% of the surfaces present had some degree of caries, found mostly on the occlusal surfaces of mandibular first and second molars. Between the scores of two examiners, there was an inter-rater agreement of 90%. Disagreement analysis shows differences due to inadequate visibility, tooth identification and ambiguous fluorescence.
CONCLUSION: The study indicates that missing teeth is the most common finding among hospitalized patients. This study suggests that intraoral cameras can be a minimally invasive technique for oral health assessment in hospitalized patients.