Quick Fact: What are pre-eruptive caries?
This is a quick fact presented by Dr. Suham Alexander, Oasis Clinical Editor
Pre-eruptive caries (also referred to as occult or hidden caries) has an unclear etiology as well as pathogenesis. As the tooth is usually encased in its crypt, it is unlikely that it is exposed to any cariogenic bacteria. Some theories hypothesize that the cariogenic process is initiated by internal resorptive processes that are precipitated by pressure exerted by abutting teeth or ectopic positioning of the tooth itself. The carious lesions are most often located at the DEJ in the occlusal surface of the tooth.
The prevalence of occult caries ranges from 2-6% and may affect any of the following teeth, although usually only one tooth is affected.
- Mandibular 1st permanent molars
- Mandibular 1st premolars
- Maxillary 1st permanent molars
- Maxillary 1st premolars
- Mandibular 2nd permanent molars
Diagnosis of pre-eruptive caries is predominantly the result of radiographic examination, with bitewing and panoramic films being the most useful adjuncts.
- Davidovich E, Kreiner B and Peretz B. Treatment of Severe Pre-eruptive IntracoronalResorption of a Permanent Second Molar. Pediatr Dent 2005, 27(1): 74-77.
- Seow WK. Pre-eruptive intracoronalresorption as an entity of occult caries. Pediatr Dent 2000, 22(5):370-376.
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