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Indian J Dent Res. 1993 Apr-Jun;4(2):39-46.

Caries activity indicators. A review.

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Dept. of Preventive Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Caries activity is the sum total of new carious lesions and the enlargement of existing cavities during a given time. An objective evaluation of caries activity requires clinical examination of quantification of factors associated with the pathogenesis of caries. Caries activity tests have been in use in dental research and clinical dentistry for years. They are useful in establishing categories of risk for caries, and for targeting specific preventive measures to these groups. They are even more useful in situations of limited resource availability. The limited resources can be concentrated on those identified by caries activity indicators as in most need of help. In recent years a number of techniques to diagnose caries have emerged. It is important for the clinical practitioner to utilize cost-effective measures in diagnosing those at risk. The objective of this paper is to review the current types of caries activity indicators and their relative efficacy.

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