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Supporting Your Practice

FDI Guide on Caries Risk Assessment – Dr. Stephen Abrams


Dr. Stephen Abrams spoke with Dr. Suham Alexander about caries management and the recently published guide by the World Dental Federation (FDI) on caries risk assessment. The FDI guide is another important step in helping dental practitioners assess caries risk and manage this chronic disease.

FDI Caries Prevention and Management Chairside Guide – Download PDF


  • Explorers are not an acceptable method of detecting caries as it may destroy the tooth’s crystalline structure and introduce microbial contamination
  • ICDAS is based on a visual ranking of the tooth surface
  • ICDAS rankings are related to the size of the subsurface lesion
  • The guide links the type of risk assessment and recommended treatments that will help the lesion from progressing

The caries detection technologies available in the market vary from one another in term  s of what they measure and assess.

Blue or Green Fluorescence Measure bacterial porphyrins and by-products
Red Light Fluorescence Measures bacterial porphyrins and by-products
Transillumination White or Red Light Images lesions with a bright light
Pulsed Red Laser Light Measures changes in crystal structure of the tooth caused by caries, cracks or erosion with heat and luminescence


Full Interview (16.54″)


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