As signs of the caries process became recognized as a physiological continuum ranging from microporosity to cavitation, caries lesion diagnosis made an important shift from focusing only on cavitation (and expensive, time-consuming surgical repair) to identifying early signs of demineralization to allow the opportunity for non-surgical intervention. To that end, improvements have been made on current methods of diagnosis. The ICCMS™ approach, coupled with the ICDAS criteria for visual examination and, when indicated, for radiographic examination, should be followed to assess the extent and severity of caries lesions, represents the most current approach for diagnosing and managing caries; it is a dynamic approach that is open to change as new information comes available. Further research and progress in the classification of caries lesions can continue to improve diagnosis for all ages of patients.

Video 2. Caries Lesion Initiation and Progression (Animation).
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