Computer program useful tool in dental care

February 25, 2005

Gunnel Hänsel Petersson at Malmö University in Sweden has received an award for her studies of Cariogram, a computer program created in Malmö to assess patients’ risk of developing tooth decay, dental caries.
The program was constructed in 1997 by Professor Douglas Bratthall at the Faculty of Odontology at Malmö University College in Sweden. Today it has been translated into twelve languages and is attracting ever greater interest in other countries. Gunnel Hänsel Petersson’s study is the first evaluation of the program.

“Caries occurs in a complicated interaction involving various factors built into the Cariogram Program. The program makes it easier for dentists to initiate the proper treatment to prevent caries,” explains Gunnel Hänsel Petersson.

There are a total of some ten risk factors whose respective importance is weighted in relation to each other: the number of earlier dental cavities, use of fluoride, the buffering capacity of the saliva, medicines, the number of bacteria in the mouth, diet, etc. The information is fed into the computer, and the program calculates the risk of caries. The patient’s risk profile is presented graphically in the form of a circle where sections of varying color and size represent the risk factors­-the greater the green area, the greater the chance of avoiding caries.

The Malmö researcher’s study is based on 600 individuals who had been placed in various risk groups following the original examination. At follow-ups two and five years later it was shown that the distribution reflected the actual outcome. More than 90 percent of those with the highest risk, for instance, had developed new cavities.

“Cariogram is thus a useful tool in estimating the risk of children and older adults developing dental caries. But dentists are advised not to place blind faith in the computer program; they should rather use it as a complement to their clinical assessment,” says Gunnel Hänsel Petersson.

The idea is that it should be possible to use Cariogram around the world. It can be downloaded for free from the Internet in Russian, German, Thai, Portuguese, French, English, etc.

The prize of SEK 30,000 from the Patent Money Fund for prophylactic research in dentistry is one of the largest for odontological research in Sweden.

Source: Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council)

Explore further: Ecological extinction explains how turbulence dies

Related Stories

Ecological extinction explains how turbulence dies

November 18, 2015

As anyone who has experienced turbulence knows, its onset and departure are abrupt, and how long it lasts seems to be unpredictable. Fast flowing fluids are always turbulent, but at slower speeds the flow transitions to smooth ...

Gravity, who needs it? NASA studies your body in space

November 18, 2015

What happens to your body in space? NASA's Human Research Program has been unfolding answers for over a decade. Space is a dangerous, unfriendly place. Isolated from family and friends, exposed to radiation that could increase ...

Chrome for Android vulnerability discovered by researcher

November 13, 2015

Making news this week at the MobilePwn2Own event at the PacSec conference in Tokyo: an exploit of Google's Chrome for Android—in one shot, said PacSec organizer Dragos Ruiu. Researcher Guang Gong showcased the exploit. ...

How to clean up space debris – using game theory

November 13, 2015

A piece of debris just 10cm in diameter could cause an entire spacecraft to disintegrate and it is estimated that there are more than 29,000 objects larger than 10cm in Earth's orbit. This poses a major risk to the spacecraft ...

Titan takes on the big one

November 11, 2015

The San Andreas Fault system, which runs almost the entire length of California, is prone to shaking, causing about 10,000 minor earthquakes each year just in the southern California area.

Recommended for you

'Material universe' yields surprising new particle

November 25, 2015

An international team of researchers has predicted the existence of a new type of particle called the type-II Weyl fermion in metallic materials. When subjected to a magnetic field, the materials containing the particle act ...

New gene map reveals cancer's Achilles heel

November 25, 2015

Scientists have mapped out the genes that keep our cells alive, creating a long-awaited foothold for understanding how our genome works and which genes are crucial in disease like cancer.

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...

A blue, neptune-size exoplanet around a red dwarf star

November 25, 2015

A team of astronomers have used the LCOGT network to detect light scattered by tiny particles (called Rayleigh scattering), through the atmosphere of a Neptune-size transiting exoplanet. This suggests a blue sky on this world ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.