New caries detection technologies and modern caries management: merging the strategies

Gen Dent. Jul-Aug 2002;50(4):320-31.


Literature over the past decade has suggested that dental caries be treated as a curable and preventable infectious disease. The emphasis is placed on early detection and intervention, including chemical therapies and minimally invasive strategies. There are now new detection technologies commercially available to help detect carious lesions early; however, what seems to be lacking is a clear strategy on how to merge these new technologies in a way consistent with today's changing paradigm of caries management. There is a real danger that these early detection technologies may be used to unnecessarily and overaggressively "drill and fill" using Black's "extension for prevention" preparations. This paper will review the literature and key strategies for caries management and early detection and suggest one way (not necessarily the only way) in which they may be used in harmony. Two relatively new detection technologies (DIAGNOdent and DIFOTI) will be reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use
  • Cariostatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chlorhexidine / therapeutic use
  • Coloring Agents
  • Dental Caries / diagnosis*
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control
  • Dental Caries / therapy
  • Dental Caries Susceptibility
  • Dental Cavity Preparation / methods
  • Dental Enamel / drug effects
  • Dental Enamel / pathology
  • Dental Fissures / diagnosis
  • Dental Fissures / therapy
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent / methods
  • Disease Progression
  • Fiber Optic Technology
  • Fluorescence
  • Fluorides / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lasers
  • Pit and Fissure Sealants / therapeutic use
  • Radiography, Bitewing
  • Risk Assessment
  • Root Caries / diagnosis
  • Root Caries / therapy
  • Technology, Dental
  • Transillumination


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Coloring Agents
  • Pit and Fissure Sealants
  • Fluorides
  • Chlorhexidine