The decay-missing-filled (DMF) index or decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) index is one of the most common methods in oral epidemiology for assessing dental caries prevalence as well as dental treatment needs among populations and has been used for about 75 years. This index is based on in-field clinical examination of individuals by using a probe, mirror and cotton rolls, and simply counts the number of decayed, missing (due to caries only) and restored teeth. Another version proposed in 1931  counts each affected surface, yielding a decayed, missing, and filled surfaces (DMFS) index. Statistics are available per populations according to age (e.g., "DMF of 12-year old children"). Because the DMF index is done without X-ray imaging, it underestimates real caries prevalence and treatment needs.
- Broadbent JM, Thomson WM (2005). "For debate: problems with the DMF index pertinent to dental caries data analysis". Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 33: 400–9. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0528.2005.00259.x. PMC 1388190. PMID 16262607.
- Zadik Yehuda, Bechor Ron (June–July 2008). "Hidden Occlusal Caries - Challenge for the Dentist" (PDF). New York State Dental Journal. 74 (4): 46–50. PMID 18788181. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
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