Caries diagnosis and assessment of restorations show a considerable interexaminers variation. It can therefore be questioned whether a professional standard is available on this topic. In this study the judgement of general dental practitioners of the quality of restorative care and the number of adequately and inadequately treated teeth was compared to the judgement of dentists working in teaching institutes.
Thirty general dental practitioners and 7 university dentists assessed occlusal photographs and bitewing radiographs of 20 patients with respect to the presence of caries and the quality of restorations. The general dental practitioners gave lower scores on a traditional schoolmark scale than the university dentists, but the latter scored more homogenous. The agreement (Cohens kappa) between pairs of examiners was similar for GDPs and experts.
The expert group tended to have a more conservative attitude towards the level of restorative treatment to be judged. A univocal professional standard with respect to caries diagnosis and restoration assessment seems difficult to establish.