METHODOLOGY: A cohort (n = 206) of fourth-year undergraduate dental students were recruited from four different Dental Schools and divided randomly into two groups (Group A and B). The participants assessed six test endodontic cases using anonymized versions of the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) case difficulty assessment form (AAE Endodontic Case Difficulty Assessment Form and Guidelines, 2006) and EndoApp, a web-based CDA tool. Group A (n = 107) used the AAE form for assessment of the first three cases, followed by EndoApp for the latter. Group B (n = 99) used EndoApp for the initial three cases and switched to the AAE form for the remainder. Data were collected online and analysed to assess participants' knowledge reinforcement and agreement with the recommendation generated. Statistical analysis was performed using the two-way mixed model anova, Cohen's Kappa (κ) and independent t-tests, with the levels of significance set at P
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Dental students (n = 122) in their clinical years, year 3 (n = 37), year 4 (n = 44), and year 5 (n = 41) received training (two-hour introductory lecture on ICDAS, followed by a 90 min e-learning video, and practice sessions using extracted teeth and photographs) from a calibrated expert. After training, the students examined a prevalidated set of extracted teeth and assigned scores in two sessions. The intra- and inter-examiner agreement between students was analyzed using weighted kappa statistics and a focus group discussion was conducted for qualitative feedback.
RESULTS: The range of kappa values for intra-examiner agreement among the year 3, 4, and 5 students for ICDAS caries code (0.611-0.879, 0.633-0.848, and 0.645-1.000) and restoration code (0.615-0.942, 0.612-0.923, 0.653-1.000), respectively. The range of kappa values for inter-examiner agreement for year 3, 4, and 5 students with a trained expert for ICDAS caries code (0.526-0.713, 0.467-0.810, and 0.525-0.842) and restoration code (0.531-0.816, 0.682-0.842, and 0.645-0.928), respectively.
CONCLUSION: The ICDAS system is a promising tool for caries detection and its implementation in the curriculum was perceived by dental students as an effective method. In general, there was moderate to substantial agreement for ICDAS caries and restoration code between students of different academic year groups and with a trained ICDAS expert.
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: ICDAS is a simple, logical, and evidence-based system for the detection and classification of caries. Introducing ICDAS to dental students enables them to detect caries in a reliable and reproducible manner irrespective of their past clinical experience and also significantly improves their caries detection skills.