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Current Concepts in Preventive Dentistry

Course Number: 334

Carious Lesions Occur in Four General Areas of the Tooth

  • Pit and Fissure Caries (Figure 2) - includes class I occlusal surfaces of posterior teeth, lingual pits of maxillary incisors, and buccal surfaces of mandibular molars.

  • Smooth Surface Caries & Interproximal Surface Caries (Figure 3) - includes class V buccal, lingual surfaces of anterior and posterior teeth, and class II interproximal surfaces of all teeth below the interproximal contact points.

  • Root Surface Caries (Figure 4) - cementum is exposed due to teeth traumatized by conditions such as malocclusion, consistent bruxing, or clenching. Due to cementum being only 50% mineralized, root surface caries can occur if the patient receives multiple lactic-acid exposures.

  • Secondary or Recurrent Caries (Figure 5) - Includes caries seen adjacent to or beneath an existing restoration.

Pit and Fissure Caries

Figure 2. Pit and Fissure Caries.

Smooth Surface Caries

Figure 3. Smooth Surface Caries & Interproximal Surface Caries.

Root Surface Caries

Figure 4. Root Surface Caries.

Image source: The Ohio State University College of Dentistry

Secondary or Recurrent Caries

Figure 5. Secondary or Recurrent Caries.