In the past decades, there has been a gradual change in the way caries diagnosis has been viewed and the chosen emphasis on certain aspects of the disease and the diagnostic process. Caries has been recognized as a condition or disease already for centuries, but in everyday dental practice, in a world where caries was ubiquitous and usually rapidly progressive, the emphasis lay on detecting the advanced lesions and treating them operatively. More recently, in most developed countries, caries progression has been significantly reduced by the use of fluoride in tooth paste and sometimes in water, and more attention is given to the early stages of lesion progression, to prevention and management, and to the aspect of disease activity. This has subtly changed the language we use in describing the disease and its key features.
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