It is now universally recognized that the development of new technologies for early detection and quantitative monitoring of dental decay at an early stage of formation could provide health and economic benefits ranging from timely preventive interventions to reduction in the time required for clinical trials of anticaries agents. The use of technologies as adjunct to clinical visual examination for caries diagnosis will facilitate preventive care in dentistry to lower treatment cost as well as reduce the cost and time for testing potential anticaries agents. This article describes the various technologies available to aid the dental practitioners in detecting dental caries at the earliest stage of its formation, assessing the activities of the detected carious lesion, and quantitatively or qualitatively monitoring of the lesion over time. The need and the importance of these technologies were also discussed. The data discussed are primarily based on published scientific studies and reviews from case reports, clinical trials, and in vitro and in vivo studies. References have been traced manually by MEDLINE or through manufacturer's websites. While some of the devices are fully developed and commercially available, others are still under development. The devices vary in their modes of action as well as their capability as caries diagnostic aids. It is clear that the differences in caries presentations and behavior in different anatomical sites make it unlikely that any one diagnostic modality will have adequate sensitivity and specificity of detection of carious lesions for all sites; a combination of diagnostic tools will help us diagnose lesions earlier and detect failing restorations sooner, all to avoid more costly, destructive dental procedures and truly take dentistry into the preventive rather than the reactive mode.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)