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Non-carious cervical lesions - can terminology influence our clinical assessment?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sejal Bhundia, David Bartlett, Saoirse O’Toole

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-988
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

King's Authors


Introduction Abfraction is a theoretical term used that has been classified as a type of non-carious cervical lesion (NCCL) and characterised by the microstructural loss of hard dental tissue in areas of high stress concentration. There is a lack of consensus among researchers and clinicians as to whether occlusal loading, particularly interferences or eccentric loading, generates sufficient tensile stress to be an aetiological factor in the loss of hard dental tissue at the cemento-enamel junction (CEJ). Aim This narrative review article assesses the evidence behind the theory of abfraction. Results It is difficult to control all influencing factors in a clinical trial making it challenging to generate sufficient evidence to conclusively support the theory of abfraction. There is limited evidence occlusal forces are an aetiological agent in non-carious cervical lesion development. However, if occlusal forces do play a role, the term non-carious cervical lesion is more reflective of the limited role it may play and a multifactorial aetiology. Conclusion The term 'abfraction lesion' remains misleading and could be removed from our diagnostic vocabulary.

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