Diagnosis of Dental Caries

Dental Caries or Cavities

Dental Caries or Cavities is a chronic infectious disease experienced by more than 90% of the population.

Recent changes in the epidimiology of dental caries have altered the presentation of the disease so that among children aged 5-17 years, about 75% of the disease is now experienced in 25% of the population. Also as understanding of the disease process has matured. The range of management strategies for dental caries has broadened.Diagnosis of Dental Caries

In most cases, Caries develops slowly and the process may arrest without professional intervention. However, the disease is not usually self limiting and without adequate treatment the process can continue until the tooth is destroyed.

The growing sophistication is available interventions for prevention and non-surgical treatment of dental caries is matched by a similar increase in the available methods for diagnosis of Carious Lesions. The diagnosis of Carious Lesions has been primarily a visual process, based principally on clinical inspection and review of radiographs. Tactile information obtained through use of dental explorer or probe has also been used in the diagnostic process. The development of some alternative diagnostic methods, such as fiber-optic transillumination and direct digital imaging, continue to rely on the dentist’s interpretation of visual cues, while other emerging methods, such as electrical conductance and computer analysis of digitized radiographic images, offer the first “Objective” assessments. Where visual and tactile cues are either supplemented or supplanted by quantitative measurements.

The types of emerging technologies include Laser fluorescence, Light Fluorescence, Digital Imaging, Fiber Optic Transillumination and Ultrasound. Primarily, some of the reviewed methodologies showed promising results for the detection and monitoring of early Caries Lesions.

It was concluded that, although significant promise is apparent with these technologies, there is not enough evidence available at this time for any of the reviewed diagnostic techniques to be recommended as a substitute for traditional diagnostic techniques.


Dr. Ziyad Abdullah Al-Izzi – B.D.S M.Sc
Assistant Insurance Medical Officer
GMC Hospital – Ajman

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