Traditional lesion detection aids

Neuhaus, K W; Ellwood, R; Lussi, A; Pitts, N B (2009). Traditional lesion detection aids. Monographs in oral science, 21, pp. 42-51. Basel: Karger

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Lesion detection aids ideally aim at increasing the sensitivity of visual caries detection without trading off too much in terms of specificity. The use of a dental probe (explorer), bitewing radiography and fibre-optic transillumination (FOTI) have long been recommended for this purpose. Today, probing of suspected lesions in the sense of checking the 'stickiness' is regarded as obsolete, since it achieves no gain of sensitivity and might cause irreversible tooth damage. Bitewing radiography helps to detect lesions that are otherwise hidden from visual examination, and it should therefore be applied to a new patient. The diagnostic performance of radiography at approximal and occlusal sites is different, as this relates to the 3-dimensional anatomy of the tooth at these sites. However, treatment decisions have to take more into account than just lesion extension. Bitewing radiography provides additional information for the decision-making process that mainly relies on the visual and clinical findings. FOTI is a quick and inexpensive method which can enhance visual examination of all tooth surfaces. Both radiography and FOTI can improve the sensitivity of caries detection, but require sufficient training and experience to interpret information correctly. Radiography also carries the burden of the risks and legislation associated with using ionizing radiation in a health setting and should be repeated at intervals guided by the individual patient's caries risk. Lesion detection aids can assist in the longitudinal monitoring of the behaviour of initial lesions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Department of Preventive, Restorative and Pediatric Dentistry

UniBE Contributor:

Neuhaus, Klaus and Lussi, Adrian








Eveline Carmen Schuler

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:11

Last Modified:

25 Jan 2017 12:16

PubMed ID:


URI: (FactScience: 195521)

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