Oratest: A simple chairside aid for caries risk assessment

Ruchi Arora, Prathik K Lahiri, Upadesh Masih


Background: A plethora of caries activity tests had been developed to predict susceptibility to caries. However, most of these tests either require an extensive armamentarium or they are not completely reliable. A reliable, inexpensive caries activity test for diagnosing high-risk patients, for patient motivation, and for preventive treatment planning is the need of the hour. Rosenberg et al in 1989 developed oratest, a simple, economical, non-invasive and less time consuming test for estimating the oral microbial level. Aims and Objectives: The present study relates plaque indices and DMFT counts as indicators of caries activity to oratest scores. Materials and Method: Sixty volunteers participated in the study. The children were asked to rinse their mouth vigorously for 30 seconds with 10 ml of ultra-high temperature sterilized cow’s milk containing 3% of fat. The expectorate was collected in a sterile beaker, and 3 ml was immediately transferred with a disposable syringe to a screw cap test tube, which contained 0.12 ml of 0.1% methylene blue. The expectorated milk and methylene blue was thoroughly mixed, and the test tube was placed on a stand in a well- illuminated area. A mirror was used to detect any color change [blue to white] in the bottom of the test tube every 5 minutes. The time taken for the initiation of the color change within 6mm ring was recorded. Results: The time taken for color change in control group, was 145-190 min and was 45 – 90 min for the test group. Conclusion: the study concludes that higher the level of infection, lesser was the time taken for a change in color of expectorate, reflecting higher oral microbial levels. 


Caries activity; Dental caries; Oratest


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