Sleep bruxism: validity of diagnostic tools

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This review of diagnostic tools for sleep bruxism included 8 studies the majority being at high risk of bias. Portable diagnostic devices had best validity but quality of evidence was very-low to moderate.

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Panoramic radiography for predicting inferior alveolar nerve injury after third molar surgery

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This review of panoramic radiography for IAN injury prediction after third molar surgery included 8 studies calculating key diagnostic data fro the 7 classical used signs. Values were to low to rule out post-operative damage before surgery but some siigns could rule in risk of injury.

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External root resorption diagnosis: cone-beam computed tomography or periapical radiographs?

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15 in-vitro studies were included in this review of CBCT & periapical radiographs for the diagnosis of external root resorption. It suggests that CBCT performs better however further research is needed the clinical an cost -effectiveness of its use.

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Digital imaging for caries: direct digital sensors or photostimulable phosphor plates?

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This review compared direct digital sensors and indirect photostimulable phosphor plates for the detection of caries. Six studies were included in the review with 4 contributing to the meta-analysis. There was no significant difference between the two systems and they displayed good specificity and limited sensitivity.

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Tooth whitening: Tray-delivered gels showed a slightly better whitening efficacy

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This review of tooth whitening included 13 randomised studies and suggests that tray-delivered carbamide peroxide gel provided better whitening efficacy than HP-based products. However the available evidence is very heterogeneous and short term.

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Whooley questions have high sensitivity and modest specificity in the detection of depression

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Ian Anderson on a recent diagnostic accuracy meta-analysis, which shows that the Whooley questions for depression are effective at ruling out the condition, but that false positives are common.

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Salivary biomarkers for diagnosing periodontal disease

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This review of salivary biomarkers for diagnosing periodontal disease only identified 4 studies at high risk of bias but suggests a small number of potential biomarkers. However the findings should be interpreted with caution.

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Vertical root fracture diagnosis with CBCT – insufficient evidence

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Only 4 small studies at high risk of bias were available for this review of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) for diagnosis of vertical root fracture, providing insufficient evidence to suggest that CBCT is a reliable test.

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Cognitive tests for dementia: MMSE, Mini-Cog and ACE-R

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Akshay Nair explores the results of a systematic review of cognitive tests for dementia and mild cognitive impairment, which focuses on the MMSE, Mini-Cog, ACE-R and MoCA instruments. Along the way he explains how diagnostic tests work and how sensitivity and specificity are useful measures to get your head around.

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Oral Cancer – DNA-image cytometry may have promise for early detection

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This diagnostic review compared two computer aided adjunctive tests for oral cancer. Oral CDX and DNA-image cytometry. The results suggest that DNA-image cytometry has a highly significant potential over OralCDx brush biopsy as an accurate and simple diagnostic tool for clinically suspected oral precancer and oral cancer.

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