Subtraction Radiographic Assessment of Underlying Dentin After Partial Carious Dentin Removal in Primary Teeth

Oral Health Prev Dent. 2017;15(6):575-579. doi: 10.3290/j.ohpd.a38996.


Purpose: To assess the one-year outcome of glass-ionomer cement (GIC) restorations with partial carious dentin removal in primary molars using digital subtraction radiographs.

Materials and methods: Children ages 6-8 years were recruited. Forty-nine primary molars with deep carious lesions were studied. The carious dentin was removed at the dentoenamel junction (DEJ) and restored with GIC. Digital radiographs were taken immediately after restoration, and at 6 and 12 months after restoration. The sets of digital radiographs were subtracted and analysed using Image-Pro Plus software.

Results: At the 12-month follow-up, 38 of the original 49 primary molars were analysed. No postoperative pain or signs of pulp pathology were reported. 76% and 87% of molars showed an increase in density of the studied areas compared to control areas at 6- and 12- month follow-ups, respectively. The density of digital subtraction radiographs increased to 5.3 and 8.2 at 6 and 12 months from baseline, respectively. The mean density of the areas under restoration at 6 months and 12 months was statistically significantly higher than at baseline (paired t-test; p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Using digital subtraction radiographs, GIC restorations with partial carious dentin removal in primary molars showed a high potential for dentin remineralisation after 1 year.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Dental Caries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Dental Caries / therapy
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent
  • Dentin / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Glass Ionomer Cements / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molar / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiography, Dental
  • Subtraction Technique
  • Tooth Remineralization
  • Tooth, Deciduous / diagnostic imaging*


  • Glass Ionomer Cements