PMID: 7993559Jun 1, 1994Paper

Epidemiologic indices for measuring the clinical manifestations of dental fluorosis: overview and critique

Advances in Dental Research
R G Rozier


Several indices have been used to describe the clinical appearance of dental fluorosis. The purpose of this paper is to describe and compare the three principal ones in use today: those developed by Dean (1934, 1942), Thylstrup and Fejerskov (1978), and Horowitz et al. (1984). A recent index (Fluorosis Risk Index) developed by Pendrys (1990) is also included in this review. The continued use of Dean's classification system and derived index (CFI) for more than a half century is testimony to its simplicity and utility. The index has been criticized because the unit of analysis is the person, because criteria are unclear for some categories, or that they lack sensitivity, particularly for severe fluorosis, and because of the way in which data are summarized and reported. The Thylstrup and Fejerskov Index is appealing to clinicians and epidemiologists alike in that it corresponds closely to histological changes that occur in dental fluorosis and to enamel fluoride concentrations, thereby having biological validity. The TSIF described by Horowitz et al. makes a useful contribution because it provides clearer diagnostic criteria and provides for an analysis based on esthetic concerns. The Fluorosis Risk Index appears to be particula...Continue Reading


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