Zones of Dentinal Caries

ZONE 1 Normal Dentin
Zone 2 Subtransarent Dentin
  • Zone of demineralization (by acid from caries)
  • Damage to the odontoblastic process is evident.
  • However, no bacteria are found in the zone.
  • Stimulation of the dentin produces pain, and the dentin is capable of remineralization.
Zone 3 Transparent dentin
  • Softer than normal dentin
  • Further loss of mineral from the intertubular area.
  • Stimulation of this region produces pain. There are no bacteria present.
  • The collagen cross-linking remains intact in this zone, can serve as a template for remineralization.
  • The intact collagen of the intertubular dentin, and thus this region remains capable of self-repair, provided the pulp remains vital.
Zone 4 Turbid dentin
  • Turbid dentin is the zone of bacterial invasion 
  • Widening and distortion of the dentinal tubules which are filled with bacteria.
  • There is very little mineral present and the collagen in this zone is irreversibly denatured.
  • The dentin in this zone will not self-repair.
  • This zone cannot be remineralized and must be removed prior to restoration
Zone 5 Infected Dentin
  • The outermost zone, infected dentin, consists of decomposed dentin that is teeming with bacteria.
  • There is no recognizable structure to the dentin.
  • Absence of collagen and mineral content.
  • Great numbers of bacteria are dispersed in this granular material.
  • Removal of infected dentin is essential to sound, successful restorative procedures as well as prevention of spread of the infection

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