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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Explorer probing of root caries lesions: an in vitro study.

Probing with a dental explorer is the preferred method of root caries diagnoses. However, studies suggest that use of a dental explorer in coronal caries detection may damage tooth structure. This pilot study investigated the effect of probing on remineralization of root surface lesions in vitro. Root-surface lesions were created on 10 extracted teeth by exposing them to a demineralizing solution for 21 days. One side of each lesion was then randomly selected and probed with an explorer, while the other side was not probed. The teeth then were placed in a remineralizing solution containing 10 parts per million (ppm) fluoride for 21 days. Of the 9 teeth with usable sections, all showed frank evidence of defects on the probed halves. Sites of remineralization were seen in the non-probed halves and adjacent to the probed defects, but not within or at the base of these defects. These results suggest that probing of root surfaces may create defects that do not fully remineralize.[1]


  1. Explorer probing of root caries lesions: an in vitro study. Warren, J.J., Levy, S.M., Wefel, J.S. Special care in dentistry : official publication of the American Association of Hospital Dentists, the Academy of Dentistry for the Handicapped, and the American Society for Geriatric Dentistry. (2003) [Pubmed]
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