Caries Interpretation: Interproximal Caries 22


Today is the start of a series of posts on caries interpretation which can be challenging at times.  Today is interproximal caries.  Here’s the goods.

  • Most commonly found at the level of the contact point or slightly apical to it.
  • Frequently occurs as a radiolucent triangle in the enamel with the base at the interproximal surface and the point towards the dentino-enamel junction (DEJ).
  • When the lesion extends less than 50% of the width of the enamel it is referred to as an incipient lesion (typically indicating a watch/monitor).
  • Note size differences based on image receptor. D speed film lesion touching the DEJ = F speed film lesion 50% through enamel = digital (CR and DR) lesion 50% through enamel
  • Interpretation of caries should be done in a darkened room with no bright excess light for an ideal viewing situation (i.e. not a bright dental operatory).

caries diagraminterproximal carious lesionsNote the triangular radiolucent area on the distal of the mandibular left second premolar.  Can you find other areas of caries on this radiograph? If so, please leave your comments below. Thanks and enjoy!


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