Rodent model in caries research
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The rodent model of dental caries has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of the etiology, pathogenesis, and prevention of this disease. In conducting animal-based investigations, important details considered essential for successful outcome are occasionally overlooked. Adequate number of animals of appropriate age should always be included to ensure sufficient statistical power to draw valid conclusions. Attention should be paid to litter source as it is clear that litter origin may have a profound effect on the outcome. Inclusion of additive in diet may also affect eating pattern. A range of special techniques are available which can expand the role of animals in exploring the pathogenesis of dental caries. The arrival of genetically altered microorganisms along with availability of knock-out rodents offers exciting challenges to further explore the pathogenesis of this still too common disease.