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For Authors Continuing Education
Vol. 70, No. 8
ISSN: 1488-2159
September 2004


A Closer Look at Diagnosis in Clinical Dental Practice: Part 5. Emerging Technologies for Caries Detection and Diagnosis


• Iain A. Pretty, BDS(Hons), MSc, PhD •
• Gerardo Maupomé, PhD •

A b s t r a c t

Parts 5 and 6 of this series examine innovations in diagnostic and management procedures and assess their potential to become everyday tools of the dental clinician.

This paper examines some of the diagnostic tools supporting a philosophical shift in mainstream dental practice from concern with extensively decayed teeth to a focus on detecting incipient demineralized tissues. With the latter approach, the incipient carious process can be reversed by promoting enamel remineralization and thus eliminating the need for restorative intervention.

Numerous methods and devices have been developed to detect, diagnose and monitor such lesions, and several have been produced in versions that may appeal to dental practitioners. This paper considers 3 of these methods and devices: the DIAGNODent laser device, quantitative light-induced fluorescence and the Digital Imaging Fiber-Optic Transillumination device.

Each technique is illustrated, the research on its effectiveness is assessed to determine usefulness to the practitioner, and the comparative advantages of the 3 adjunct tools are discussed.


MeSH Key Words: decision support techniques; dental caries/diagnosis; predictive value of tests; risk assessment methods
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