Diagnostic Validity of Self-Perceived Dental Caries in Indonesian Young Adolescents Aged 12-15 Years

Diah Ayu Maharani, Jessica Kurniawan, Ary Agustanti, Robbykha Rosalien, Anton Rahardjo, Alessandro Leite Cavalcanti


Objective: To compare self-perceived information and clinically diagnosed dental caries status among Indonesian children aged 12–15 years. Material and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a questionnaire was used to obtain self-perceived information. Clinical examinations were conducted to determine the mean number of decayed, missing or filled teeth (DMFT) and the presence of severely decayed teeth with visible pulpal involvement, ulceration caused by dislocated tooth fragments, fistula, and abscess (PUFA). The study included 494 children aged 12–15 years recruited from six junior high schools in Jakarta, Indonesia. The clinical examination results and responses to the self-perceived assessment questionnaire were compared to determine the sensitivity and specificity. Results: The proportions of children with dental caries and clinical consequences of untreated dental caries in this study were 69.4% and 17.6%, respectively, with mean DMFT and PUFA index scores of 2.4 and 0.2, respectively. For the DMFT index, the self-perceived need for oral treatment had the highest sensitivity (86%), while the dental pain had the highest specificity (89%). For the PUFA index, the self perceived oral health condition had the highest sensitivity (92%), while the self-perceived dental pain had the highest specificity (82%). However, none of the self-perceived variables had both high sensitivity and specificity. Conclusion: Self-perceived information obtained from the questionnaire can not properly evaluate the clinical status of dental caries.


Epidemiology; Oral Health; Dental Caries; Adolescent.

Full Text:



Bagramian RA, Garcia-Godoy F, Volpe AR. The global increase in dental caries. A pending public health crisis. Am J Dent 2009; 22(1):3-8.

Adiatman M, Yuvana AL, Nasia AA, Rahardjo A, Maharani DA. Dental and gingival status of 5 and 12-year-old children in Jakarta and its satellite cities. J Dent Indones 2016; 23(1):5-9. https://doi.org/10.14693/jdi.v23i1.982

Agustanti A, Rosalien R, Hutami DF, Septalita A, Rahardjo A, Maharani DA. Dental caries in 12-year-old school children living in Jakarta. J Int Dent Med Res 2018; 11(1):238-42.

Vered Y, Sgan-Cohen HD. Self-perceived and clinically diagnosed dental and periodontal health status among young adults and their implications for epidemiological surveys. BMC Oral Health 2003; 3:3. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6831-3-3

Balappanavar AY, Sardana V, Nagesh L, Ankola A V, Kakodkar P, Hebbal M. Questionnaire vs clinical surveys: The right choice? A cross-sectional comparative study. Indian J Dent Res 2011; 22(3):494. https://doi.org/10.4103/0970-9290.87081

Maharani DA. Perceived need for and utilization of dental care in Indonesia in 2006 and 2007: A secondary analysis. J Oral Sci 2009; 51(4):545-50. https://doi.org/10.2334/josnusd.51.545

Pinelli C, Loffredo LCM. Reproducibility and validity of self-perceived oral health conditions. Clin Oral Investig 2007; 11(4):431-7. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00784-007-0133-0

Kotha SB, Chaudary M, Terkawi S, Ahmed M, Ghabban SN, Fernandez RAA. Correlation of perceived self-rated oral health status with various dental health and awareness factors. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent 2017; 7: S119-S124. https://doi.org/10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_304_17

Kojima A, Ekuni D, Mizutani S, Furuta M, Irie K, Azuma T, Tomofuji T, Iwasaki Y, Morita M. Relationships between self-rated oral health, subjective symptoms, oral health behavior and clinical conditions in Japanese university students: A cross-sectional survey at Okayama University. BMC Oral Health 2013; 13:62. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6831-13-62

Akobeng AK. Understanding diagnostic tests 1: Sensitivity, specificity and predictive values. Acta Paediatr 2007; 96(3):338-41. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1651-2227.2006.00180.x

Areai DM, Thomson WM, Foster Page LA, Denny SJ, Crengle S, Clark TC, Ameratunga SN, Koopu PI. Self-reported oral health, dental self-care and dental service use among New Zealand secondary school students: Findings from the Youth 07 study. N Z Dent J 2011; 107(4):121-6.

Kumar YS, Acharya S, Pentapati KC. Prevalence of dental pain and its relationship to caries experience in school children of Udupi district. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 2014; 15(6):371-5. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40368-014-0124-1

Kozmhinsky VMR, Heimer M, de Goes PSA. Sociodemographic factors and oral health conditions related to the impact on the quality of life of adolescents. Braz Res Pediatr Dent Integr Clin 2016; 16(1):35-42. https://doi.org/10.4034/PBOCI.2016.161.04

World Health Organization. Oral Health Surveys: Basic Methods. 5th. ed. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2013. 125p.

Monse B, Heinrich-Weltzien R, Benzian H, Holmgren C, van Palenstein HW. PUFA - An index of clinical consequences of untreated dental caries. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2010; 38(1):77-82. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0528.2009.00514.x

Habib A, Alalyani M, Hussain I, Almutheibi MS. Brief review on sensitivity, specificity and predictivities. IOSR J Dent Med Sci 2015; 14(4):64-8. https://doi.org/10.9790/0853-14456468

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4034/PBOCI.2019.191.04