Use of new minimum intervention dentistry technologies in caries management

Aust Dent J. 2013 Jun:58 Suppl 1:40-59. doi: 10.1111/adj.12049.


Preservation of natural tooth structure requires early detection of the carious lesion and is associated with comprehensive patient dental care. Processes aiming to detect carious lesions in the initial stage with optimum efficiency employ a variety of technologies such as magnifying loupes, transillumination, light and laser fluorescence (QLF® and DIAGNOdent® ) and autofluorescence (Soprolife® and VistaCam®), electric current/impedance (CarieScan(®) ), tomographic imaging and image processing. Most fluorescent caries detection tools can discriminate between healthy and carious dental tissue, demonstrating different levels of sensitivity and specificity. Based on the fluorescence principle, an LED camera (Soprolife® ) was developed (Sopro-Acteon, La Ciotat, France) which combined magnification, fluorescence, picture acquisition and an innovative therapeutic concept called light-induced fluorescence evaluator for diagnosis and treatment (LIFEDT). This article is rounded off by a Soprolife® illustration about minimally or even non-invasive dental techniques, distinguishing those that preserve or reinforce the enamel and enamel-dentine structures without any preparation (MIT1- minimally invasive therapy 1) from those that require minimum preparation of the dental tissues (MIT2 - minimally invasive therapy 2) using several clinical cases as examples. MIT1 encompasses all the dental techniques aimed at disinfection, remineralizing, reversing and sealing the caries process and MIT2 involves a series of specific tools, including microburs, air abrasion devices, sonic and ultrasonic inserts and photo-activated disinfection to achieve minimal preparation of the tooth. With respect to minimally invasive treatment and prevention, the use of lasers is discussed. Furthermore, while most practices operate under a surgical model, Caries Management by Risk Assessment (CaMBRA) encourages a medical model of disease prevention and management to control the manifestation of the disease, or keep the oral environment in a state of balance between pathological and preventive factors. Early detection and diagnosis and prediction of lesion activity are of great interest and may change traditional operative procedures substantially. Fluorescence tools with high levels of magnification and observational capacity should guide clinicians towards a more preventive and minimally invasive treatment strategy.

MeSH terms

  • Dental Care / trends*
  • Dental Caries / diagnosis
  • Dental Caries / therapy*
  • Dental Caries Activity Tests / instrumentation
  • Dental Caries Activity Tests / methods*
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Organ Sparing Treatments / methods
  • Sensitivity and Specificity