We are using cookies to implement functions like login, shopping cart or language selection for this website. Furthermore we use Google Analytics to create anonymized statistical reports of the usage which creates Cookies too. You will find more information in our privacy policy.
OK, I agree I do not want Google Analytics-Cookies
International Journal of Evidence-Based Practice for the Dental Hygienist
Int J Evidence-Based Practice Dent Hygienist 2 (2016), No. 4     5. Dec. 2016
Int J Evidence-Based Practice Dent Hygienist 2 (2016), No. 4  (05.12.2016)

Page 220-228


Screening for Oral Disease: A Probabilistic Approach
Balevi, Ben
A screening test is used for the early identification of a targeted disease in an asymptomatic patient so that the disease can be managed before it progresses any further, which often leads to a better prognosis and thus better patient/population health outcomes. However, the screening process comes with its own risk of incorrectly testing positive when the disease does not exist (ie, a diagnostic false positive) or incorrectly testing negative when the disease truly does exist (ie, a diagnostic false negative). As a result, the clinical interpretation of a screening test is a challenge for every dental hygienist, who is practicing in a world of uncertainty. This article will review the role of probability in analyzing the reliability of a diagnostic tool as a screening test in clinical practice. As long as we live in a world of uncertainty, the challenges of clinical decision making will be based on the science of probability and the art of clinical judgment.

Keywords: diagnostic test, oral health screening, negative predictive value, positive predictive value, probability, sensitivity, specificity