A Review of Emerging Technologies for the Detection and Diagnosis of Dental Caries
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Bethesda United States
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Objectives to address emerging technologies presently available to aid in the detection and diagnosis of dental caries and to compare their efficacy and accuracy to visual, tactile, and radiographic examination. Methods The technologies reviewed include fiber-optic transillumination FOTI, digital imaging fiber-optic transillumination DIFOTI, near-infrared light transillumination NILT, quantitative light-induced fluorescence QLF, laser fluorescence, light emitting diode LED, alternating current impedance spectroscopy, frequency-domain infrared photo-thermal radiometry and modulated luminescence PTRLUM, and cone beam computed tomography CBCT. References were manually searched using PubMed, Google Scholar, and manufacturers websites. Results The devices vary greatly in their modes of action as well as their sensitivities and specificities compared to visual and radiographic examination for caries detection. There is also variability among the devices in their capacity to quantitatively measure caries progression and limitations of some devices to measure only specific areas of the teeth. Overall, many of these devices when combined with visual examination can detect caries at the earliest stage allowing the option for preventive care rather than restorative treatment. Conclusions No single device or method alone is sufficient to adequately diagnose carious lesions in all sites. A combination of diagnostic methods and devices greatly increases the ability to detect caries in its earliest stage.
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