Step 3: Note What is Happening in the Oral Cavity

Besides looking for present and previous carious activity, it is important to note other factors that increase caries risk. Tooth morphology and alignment—such as areas that are crowded, teeth that are pitted or rough, or teeth that are physically difficult to clean—can play a role in increasing caries risk. Restorations with faulty margins can also increase caries risk because they provide a perfect physiologic niche that can harbor cariogenic bacteria.2