A random effects model for some epidemiological features of dental caries

F. Manji, O. Fejerskov, N. J.D. Nagelkerke, V. Baelum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract We describe a random effects model for caries lesion development and progression based on considering the effects of the pH fluctuations over time in microbial dental plaque as a Wiener process with a single absorptive barrier. The model predicts that the period of greatest risk to developing caries occurs shortly after eruption, but thereafter the longer a surface survives without developing a lesion, the less likely will it be that a lesion will subsequently develop. The model is able to anticipate why the effect of water fluoridation on caries prevalence is most pronounced when caries is diagnosed at cavity level. This model offers one way in which the variability which characterizes the complex ecosystem associated with dental caries may be considered a subject of interest for enhancing our understanding of its pathogenesis and epidemiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-328
Number of pages5
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • dental caries
  • fluoride
  • pH
  • pathogenesis
  • plaque
  • risk‐epidemiology
  • statistical models
  • stochastic processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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