Caries-based treatment need assessment by clinical dental nurses in Anguilla, British West Indies

Adenike Adejoke Adewakun, Bennett Tochukwu Amaechi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the ability of dental nurses in Anguilla to assess treatment need following training in WHO criteria. Participants: Sixty-six randomly selected schoolchildren aged 6, 9, 12, 14, 15 and 17 years. Design: Point prevalence study involving three different groups of schoolchildren [n=20 (C0), 23 (D1), 23 (D2)] and four plaster casts comprising 52 extracted teeth (T0). Main outcome measures: Tooth- and person-based inter and intra-examiner agreement. Method: The only three government dental nurses in Anguilla were trained and calibrated by a benchmark dentist in June 2000 using WHO criteria. Tooth-based Treatment Need and person-based Treatment Urgency were assessed during 466 evaluations involving 1,733 teeth. Examiner agreement levels were compared during two calibration exercises (T0, C0) and two duplicate examinations (D 1 and D2). The treatment components were classified as preventive (diet modification, prophylaxis, OHI, sealants); restorative (restorations, pulp care and crowns); and rehabilitative (tooth removal). Results: All scores presented are Kappa scores. Substantial agreement was obtained at T0 (0.614-0.764), and almost perfect agreement at C 0(0.832-0.872), D1(0.917-0.954) and D2(0.966-0. 977). Almost perfect reliability occurred at C0(0.963-0.991) and D1(0.971-0.992) while perfect reliability was attained by all examiners at D1(1.0). Substantial and almost perfect agreement was obtained for all treatment modalities irrespective of caries prevalence and severity. Agreement levels increased as the survey progressed. Perfect agreement was obtained for all categories of treatment urgency. Conclusions: Dental nurses in Anguilla can validly and reliably assess treatment need provided training is adequate, of realistic duration and they are involved in all aspects of the exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-174
Number of pages5
JournalCommunity Dental Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005


  • Accuracy
  • Dental caries
  • Dental nurses
  • Need assessment
  • Reliability
  • Treatment need
  • Treatment urgency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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