The Concept of Hidden Caries

  • Christopher DeeryEmail author


As caries levels declined in the early 1970s due to the increased availability of fluoride, it was suggested that the presence of fluoride was resulting in later cavitation and therefore making occlusal caries diagnosis more difficult. Dentinal carious lesions not detected clinically but diagnosed radiographically were termed “hidden caries”. The evidence from studies before and after the introduction of fluoride does not support this concept. It is much more likely that the reduction in caries just drew dentists’ attention to these clinically hard to detect lesions. Depending on the diagnostic criteria, the prevalence of clinically undetectable dental lesions ranges from 2 to 25%, the lower of these figures being found when a meticulous caries diagnostic system is used. To ensure no lesions are missed, radiographic examination is required.


Caries Occlusal Diagnosis Hidden caries Fluoride 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Clinical DentistryUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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