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Three year in vivo investigation to determine the progression of approximal primary carious lesions extending into dentine

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the proportion of a sample of approximal carious lesions extending up to 1 mm into dentine which progressed over a 3-year period and to examine factors which influenced that progression.

Design: Prospective, single centre, clinical study.

Setting: Restorative Clinic at Bristol Dental School, UK.

Subjects and Methods: Sixty-five adult patients were identified who each had an approximal carious lesion which extended up to 1 mm into the dentine and which were assessed at intervals of up to 36 months. All patients were given appropriate preventive advice.

Main Outcome Measures: Progression of the lesions was determined by assessment of sequential bitewing radiographs.

Results: 29% of the lesions progressed within 8 months, 56% by 20 months and 69% by 36 months. After 36 months, lesions which extended over 0.5 mm and up to 1 mm into the dentine were significantly more likely to have progressed (92%) compared with shallower lesions which extended up to only 0.5 mm into dentine (50%).

Conclusions: The depth of an approximal dentine lesion was the main clinical marker which related to its progression. It is recommended that operative intervention is considered for approximal lesions which extend deeper than 0.5 mm into the dentine, while preventive treatment and re-assessment may be considered for shallower lesions

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Foster, L. Three year in vivo investigation to determine the progression of approximal primary carious lesions extending into dentine. Br Dent J 185, 353–357 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.4809812

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