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Caries Res. 2006;40(2):97-103.

Detection of approximal caries with a new laser fluorescence device.

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Department of Operative, Preventive and Paediatric Dentistry, School of Dental Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.


The laser device DIAGNOdent developed for the detection of occlusal caries has limited value on approximal surfaces. The aim of this study was to develop and to test a new laser fluorescence (LF) device for the detection of approximal caries. Light with a wavelength of 655 nm was transported to the approximal surface using two different sapphire fibre tips. Seventy-five teeth were selected from a pool of extracted permanent human molars, frozen at -20 degrees C until use. Before being measured, they were defrosted, cleaned and calculus was removed with a scaler. The molars were set in blocks simulating the contact area of adults. Bitewing radiographs were obtained using Kodak Insight films. After two independent assessments with the new LF device, the teeth were histologically prepared, and assessed for caries extension. Using the laser, specificity values for D1 threshold (outer half of enamel), D2 threshold (inner half of enamel), D3 threshold (dentine) ranged between 0.81 and 0.93, sensitivity between 0.84 and 0.92 with no difference between the two tips. Bitewing radiography showed an inferior performance compared to LF (p<0.05). Intraex aminer reproducibility was high (kappa>.74). The new LF system might be a useful additional tool in detecting approximal caries. Because of its good reproducibility, it could be used to monitor caries regression or progression on approximal surfaces.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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