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Caries Process and Prevention Strategies: Diagnosis (ce373) - Introduction

Caries Process and Prevention Strategies: Diagnosis


Amid I. Ismail, BDS, MPH, MBA, DrPH

Credit Hours:

1 Hour(s)


This course is part 6 of a 10-part series entitled Caries Process and Prevention Strategies. This course introduces the dental professional to the importance of caries diagnosis in prevention of the disease, as well as the intricate link ...

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This course is part 6 of a 10-part series entitled Caries Process and Prevention Strategies. This course introduces the dental professional to the importance of caries diagnosis in prevention of the disease, as well as the intricate link between caries diagnosis and treatment. The two main methods of lesion diagnosis used today—the visual–tactile or visual methods and bitewing radiography—are discussed; particularly with regard to their application in the ICDAS system, including recent advancements that improve their sensitivity, as well as their limitations. Topics also include newer approaches to caries diagnosis and management, a brief discussion of why too-early caries lesion diagnosis can be counterproductive and the benefits of enlisting the help of pediatricians in diagnosing caries in children.

  • Intended Audience:

    Dentists, Dental Hygienists, Dental Assistants, Dental Students, Dental Hygiene Students, Dental Assisting Students

  • Date Course Online:

    Aug 19, 2011

  • Last Revision Date:

    Oct 11, 2021

  • Course Expiration Date:

    Oct 10, 2024

  • Cost:


  • Method:


  • AGD Subject Code(s):


  • Technical Requirements:

    Stable internet connection and the latest version of browser and device software are recommended.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

  • Understand how a change from surgical repair of caries to prevention has influenced caries diagnosis methods.
  • Explain why caries diagnosis is important.
  • Discuss the difference between the medical and dental perspective of caries diagnosis.
  • Identify the tools and diagnostic criteria of visual–tactile methods.
  • Be familiar with the benefits and limitations of visual–tactile methods.
  • Identify diagnostic criteria of the bitewing radiography method, as well as its benefits and limitations.
  • Be familiar with newer methods of caries lesion detection and assessment, including methods based on X-rays, light, and electrical current.


  • P&G is providing these resource materials to dental professionals. We do not own this content nor are we responsible for any material herein.
  • Participants must always be aware of the hazards of using limited knowledge in integrating new techniques or procedures into their practice.  Only sound evidence-based dentistry should be used in patient therapy.

Note:  Registration is required to take test.


Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement

  • Dr. Ismail is a member of the Board of Director SS White Inc., a company that manufactures special burs for conservative management of caries. Temple University holds the patents to the Smart Bur and Fissurotomy Bur.

Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry, Temple University

Dr. Ismail is the dean of Temple University's Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry. He joined Temple from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he was profe...

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Submission Information

Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Submission For credit transfers to appear in your AGD account in real time, make sure to add your AGD membership number in the field provided on the “Share Your Test Score” page.

CE Broker For all states that use CE Broker for licensure, “proof of completions” are electronically reported the first of every month. If a course was taken in November, the “proof of completion” will be submitted the beginning of December.




Newly updated in 2018 by The Procter & Gamble Company, this course was first developed in conjunction with the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) in 2008. ADEA members are encouraged to go to ADEA weTeach® for a user-friendly gateway providing dental, allied dental and other health educators with access to high-quality teaching, learning and assessment resources. Health care faculty at any stage of their career will benefit from these “how-to” resources, and also gain the opportunity to share and publish educational best practices within MedEdPORTAL®. Visit:

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Approved PACE Program Provider


Nationally Approved PACE Program Provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.

Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.

8/1/2021 to 7/31/2027

Provider ID# 211886


AADH Approved Program Provider

Procter & Gamble is designated as an approved Provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHPGC (January 1, 2024-December 31, 2025). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit.