This study investigated the radiographic pattern of underlying dark shadow from dentin (ICDAS 4) in permanent molars and assessed the association between enamel breakdown and radiographic features. Ninety-five teeth (54 patients) were clinically and radiographically assessed. The majority of ICDAS 4 caries lesions presented enamel breakdown (n = 78, 82.1%) and no radiographic image (n = 64, 67.4%) or a radiolucent zone restricted to the enamel-dentin junction (n = 17, 17.9%). No association was found between enamel breakdown and radiographic features. This study suggests that a radiographic examination is needed prior to the decision making process for underlying dark shadows from dentin.

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