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SENSITIVITY AND SPECIFICITY
There are some detractors within the orofacial pain and psycho-social perspectives of TMD who assert that the lack of “sensitivity and specificity” make the Myotronics devices unreliable. (It is interesting how they come up with these kind of terms to diminish the need for measurements within the TMD community). Let’s be clear so there is no misunderstanding!
- Sensitivity is the probability that the diagnostic test result can correctly identify the existence of the disease when the disease is present.
- Specificity is the probability that the test result can correctly identify that the disease does not exist when the disease is not present.
A low sensitivity would result in false negative finding and a low specificity would result in a false positive finding. While sensitivity and specificity can be useful in their application to determine the effectiveness of certain diagnostic procedures when the disease is clearly defined such as tuberculosis, they are not appropriate criteria in evaluation of diagnostic procedures when applied to multi-faceted multi-presentational disorders, such as TMD.
Based on an understanding of the complex multifaceted nature of TMD, no single free standing instrument or device can successfully make a diagnosis of every form of TMD. Myotronics does not claim that its device is a free standing diagnostic device. In medicine, there are many devices considered valuable as diagnostic aids such as radiographs and MRI that are not free-standing diagnostic devices. Myotronics K7 device provides valuable objective data, which together with patient’s history and clinical examination findings, aid the treating dentist in arriving at a diagnosis, treatment planning, treatment monitoring and outcome evaluation.
Those anti-instrumentation detractors like to bring up the sensitivity and specificity terminology to distort and confuse the lay folks while they themselves present no objective documentation to prove the validity and the success of their own treatment and their treatment protocol. It is clear that they prefer to confuse and distort the facts to detract from their own failures.
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