A new approach for calibrating dental caries frequency of skeletal remains

Duyar I., Erdal Y. S.

HOMO- Journal of Comparative Human Biology, vol.54, no.1, pp.57-70, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1078/0018-442x-00058
  • Journal Name: HOMO- Journal of Comparative Human Biology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.57-70
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


It is a fact that researchers make use of various calibration methods for calculating and correcting dental caries frequency. The lack of standardization and accuracy of such methods has made it difficult for the researchers to draw reliable and differentiated conclusions from caries frequencies. Besides, the number of studies on how far the calculation methods reflect the,real,, caries frequency is very limited. In this study, various methods for calculating caries frequency in skeletal samples are discussed and a new calculation method is proposed for estimating <> caries frequency. The Hardwick's correction, which is one of the methods discussed in this study, is not successful in estimating <> caries frequency as it proposes standard values for different life styles and dietary habits. The decayed and missing index is also considered inefficient as it assumes that all antemortem tooth loss is due to caries. The caries correction factor, proposed by Lukacs, achieves more successful results by considering factors other than caries in antemortem tooth loss, but because it does not differentiate between the anterior and posterior tooth groups during calculation, the results to be obtained therefrom may deviate from actual figures. In order to correct any such deviation, the caries correction factor must be applied separately for the anterior and posterior teeth groups since the resistance of each group to cariogenic factors is different. All the methods outlined above do not consider the effects of postmortem tooth loss on caries frequency. As a result, these methods are still far from reflecting a reliable caries frequency. The application of a proportional correction factor - as a technique newly introduced here - corrects the deviation caused by postmortem tooth loss and achieves more realistic results.