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February JADA looks at assessment and treatment for deep carious lesions

January 24, 2017

By Michelle Manchir

Image of Journal of the American Dental Association 2017 February coverClinicians’ approaches for managing carious tissues during cavity preparations vary considerably, according to an article in the February 2017 issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

This finding is despite mounting evidence supporting the use of conservative caries removal criteria to preserve pulpal health and tooth structure integrity when managing deep carious lesions, according to the research.

For their article, “General Dentists’, Pediatric Dentists’, and Endodontists’ Diagnostic Assessment and Treatment Strategies for Deep Carious Lesions: A Comparative Analysis,” researchers developed a web-based survey assessing clinicians’ diagnostic methods, clinical decision-making considerations, treatment strategies, and knowledge, behavior and attitudes related to the diagnosis and treatment of deep carious lesions.

Most respondents surveyed said they practice complete caries removal to hard dentin, using hardness as the primary excavation criteria, and do not routinely use pulp diagnostic tests prior to the decisions for treatment of teeth with deep carious lesions.

“Based on these results, it can be recommended that educational efforts emphasizing conservative treatment options for the management of deep carious lesions need to be increased in the U.S. — both during dental education as well as during continuing education courses,” said Dr. Margherita Fontana, corresponding author of the article.
To read the full article, visit

Every month, JADA articles are published online at in advance of print publication.