Chapter 15. Dental Caries: Quantifying Mineral Changes

  1. Prof. Dr. Edmund Bäuerlein
  1. Susan M. Higham and
  2. Philip W. Smith

Published Online: 20 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9783527619443.ch59

Handbook of Biomineralization: Biological Aspects and Structure Formation

Handbook of Biomineralization: Biological Aspects and Structure Formation

How to Cite

Higham, S. M. and Smith, P. W. (2007) Dental Caries: Quantifying Mineral Changes, in Handbook of Biomineralization: Biological Aspects and Structure Formation (ed E. Bäuerlein), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527619443.ch59

Editor Information

  1. Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Department of Membrane Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18 A, 82152 Planegg, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 MAR 2008
  2. Published Print: 25 MAY 2007

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527316410

Online ISBN: 9783527619443

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Keywords:

  • tooth decay;
  • dental caries;
  • caries prevention;
  • in vitro, in vivo;
  • demineralization;
  • remineralization;
  • caries detection;
  • microradiography;
  • quantitative light-induced fluorescence

Summary

Dental caries is a disease characterized by the net loss of mineral from the dental hard tissues. Despite being largely preventable, it accounts for significant morbidity and consumes significant resources in developed and developing countries. Tooth decay is preferably managed by early detection and institution of proven methods of caries prevention which promote remineralization of the carious lesion. Thus, the ability to monitor mineral changes in dental caries forms a crucial part of the evaluation of potential preventive and clinical strategies aimed at managing tooth decay. A number of in vitro and in vivo studies have been conducted with the aim of elucidating the factors which may be involved in the development, prevention, and remineralization of the dental hard tissues. This chapter concentrates on two key techniques used to evaluate the early events in dental caries; namely transverse microradiography and quantitative light-induced fluorescence, and their application in a variety of in vitro and in vivo studies involving the demineralization and remineralization of caries lesions.