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1.  The Natural History of Dental Caries Lesions 
Journal of Dental Research  2012;91(9):841-846.
Dental caries is a ubiquitous disease affecting all age groups and segments of the population. It is known that not all caries lesions progress to cavitation, but little is known regarding the progression pattern of caries lesions. This study’s purpose was to evaluate the natural history of dental caries using a standardized, visually based system, the International Caries Detection and Assessment System (ICDAS). The study population consisted of 565 consenting children, who were enrolled and examined at baseline and at regular intervals over 48 months with ICDAS and yearly bitewing radiographs. Of these, 338 children completed all examinations. Not all lesions cavitated at the same rate, differing by surface type and baseline ICDAS severity score and activity status. With increasing severity, the percentage of lesions progressing to cavitation increased: 19%, 32%, 68%, and 66% for ICDAS scores 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Lesions on occlusal surfaces were more likely to cavitate, followed by buccal pits, lingual grooves, proximal surfaces, and buccal and lingual surfaces. Cavitation was more likely on molars, followed by pre-molars and anterior teeth. Predictors of cavitation included age, gender, surfaces and tooth types, and ICDAS severity/activity at baseline. In conclusion, characterization of lesion severity with ICDAS can be a strong predictor of lesion progression to cavitation.
PMCID: PMC3420396  PMID: 22821238
longitudinal study; dental caries; ICDAS; activity; lesion progression; Hispanic
2.  Identification of Caries Risk Factors in Toddlers 
Journal of Dental Research  2011;90(2):209-214.
The purpose of this study was to identify risk factors to predict caries progression in toddlers in primary-healthcare settings for the cost-effective targeting of preventive and referral strategies. We examined 329 children (26 ± 6 mos old) twice, one year apart, in Indiana, USA. A 107-item structured interview was used to collect information from the primary caregiver and child on factors/beliefs/perceptions/behaviors that could affect caries development, transmission of bacteria, medical-dental health, and access to care. Bacterial levels, gingivitis, dental plaque, and caries experience were assessed. Multiple-variable logistic regression models of caries progression toward cavitation included family caries experience, transmission-related behaviors, dietary factors, health beliefs, and lower income, but differed in selected predictors/predictive power by race/ethnicity. Addition of clinical variables did not significantly improve the prediction.
PMCID: PMC3144099  PMID: 21173434
longitudinal study; toddler; dental caries; risk assessment

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