Conclusion

In an attempt to reduce caries prevalence in the population and improve the oral health of patients, it is increasingly the responsibility of the dental professional to assess risk of new caries and caries progression. To assess risk of caries, a dental professional can collect useful information from a patient’s medical and dental history, consider sociocultural and economic factors that can influence a patient’s oral hygiene, and analyze a patient’s diet. To assess risk, dentists can use a simple, methodical protocol that includes conducting a risk assessment survey, recommending non-operational strategies (such as proper dental cleaning, use of fluoride, and diet modification) and recommending additional strategies for patients with special needs.
Figure 1. Caries Lesion Initiation and Progression - Pellicle Formation.
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Figure 2. Caries Lesion Initiation and Progression - Biofilm Formation.
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Figure 3. Caries Lesion Initiation and Progression - Dietary Sugars Diffuse into the Biofilm.
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Figure 4. Caries Lesion Initiation and Progression - Fermentation Produces Acid Leading to Demineralization.
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Figure 5. Caries Lesion Initiation and Progression - Demineralization and Remineralization.
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Figure 6. Caries Lesion Initiation and Progression - Cavitation and Progression into Dentin.
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Figure 7. Caries Lesion Initiation and Progression - Progression Toward Pulp.
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