Background: The diagnostic assessment of the level of difficulty in treating patients who need prosthodontic care is useful to establish a medico-economically efficient system with primary care dentists and prosthodontic specialists. Materials and methods: A multi-axis assessment protocol was established using the newly established treatment difficulty indices. The protocol contains Axis I: oral physiological conditions (e.g., teeth damage and/or missing teeth); Axis II: general health and sociological conditions (e.g., medical disorders); Axis III: oral health-related quality of life (OHRQOL; e.g., oral health impact profile: OHIP); and Axis IV: psychological health (e.g., mood, anxiety, somatoform disorders). A preliminary study on the test-retest consistency of the protocol was conducted to check the levels of reliability of the indices prior to a large-scale, multi-center cohort study on the validity of the protocol. Results: The test-retest consistency in terms of the oral physiological condition (Axis I) after data reduction was 0.63 for patients with teeth problems, 0.95 for partially edentulous patients, and 0.62 for edentulous patients. The reliability for general health and sociological conditions (Axis II), OHRQOL (Axis III), and psychological health (Axis IV) were 0.88, 0.74, and 0.61, respectively. These values reflect either " sufficient agreement" or " excellent agreement" in accordance with the criteria established by Landis and Koch (1977) . Conclusion: This protocol is the first multi-axis assessment scheme introduced for prosthodontic treatment with sufficient reliability. This new system is therefore expected to have a significant impact on future dental diagnostic nomenclature systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Oral Surgery
- Dentistry (miscellaneous)