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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-36

Diagnostic methods for early detection of dental caries - A review

1 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, RVS Dental College, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Senior Consultant, KKCTH, Child Trust Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Meenakshi Ammal Dental College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Madhumitha Mohanraj
D225, Manchester Grand Apartments, M. G. Road, Avarampalayam, Coimbatore - 641 006, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Management of dental caries demands early detection of carious lesions. This article provides an overview of the state of the art methodologies for the detection and assessment of early carious lesions. This review is based on PubMed for available literature on caries detection methodology and tools, using terms such as "early detection of caries," "caries detection methods or tools," "transillumination," "fluorescence," and "newer caries detection method," Conventional or the traditional methods for the detection of caries have failed to detect early incipient caries effectively. The advanced methods provide promising results in detection both early caries and also caries occurring on all surfaces of the tooth, which paves the way for a more preventive approach to caries management. Each caries detection tool has advantages and disadvantages; some perform better on certain surfaces than others. Newer diagnostic methods which are still under research may prove to be very effective for early detection of caries in the near future. The change in the paradigm to minimally invasive dentistry has ascertained the field of dentistry to a more preventive approach to caries management, which demands a proper caries risk assessment and an early detection of caries. Not all the methods accurately detect early lesions. Hence, the clinician must ascertain as to which method and diagnostic tool should be used for clinical assessment of early detection of caries.

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