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There is a wealth of evidence to indicate that if dental caries can be recognized at an early stage, it is possible to halt its progression or even reverse it. This has led to an increased interest in the development of diagnostic techniques capable of visualizing caries at an early stage in addition to providing clinicians with an aid to diagnosis. Several techniques are available for research and clinical applications for detecting early demineralization. This manuscript has reviewed some of the techniques currently available to determine their advantages, whether they have any limitations and their applicability to dental research and clinical dentistry. Not one method is the perfect choice in all situations, but what is clear is that the development and application of biophysical technologies have allowed major advances to be made in dental research as well as in clinical dentistry. With continued developments these technologies will play an important role in the future management of dental disease.