Objective: The aim of this paper was to present the function and potential of diagnosing caries lesions using a recently introduced near-infrared (NIR) transillumination technique (DIAGNOcam, KaVo).
Method and Materials: The study included 130 adolescents and adults with complete permanent dentition (age > 12). All patients underwent visual examination and, if necessary, bitewing radiographs. Proximal and occlusal surfaces, which had not yet been restored, were photographed by a NIR transillumination camera system using light with a wavelength of 780 nm rather than ionizing radiation. Of the study patients, 85 showed 127 proximal dentin caries lesions that were treated operatively.
Results: A cross table shows the correlation of radiography and NIR transillumination. Based on our practical clinical experiences to date, a possible classifi cation of diagnosis is introduced. The main result of our study was that NIR light was able to visualize caries lesions on proximal and occlusal surfaces.
Conclusion: The study suggests that NIR transillumination is a method that may help to avoid bitewing radiographs for diagnosis of caries in everyday clinical practice.
Keywords: caries detection, caries diagnostics, DIAGNOcam, near-infrared light, photo-optics, proximal caries