BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Medical advances are made every day, but there’s not so much in the news regarding dental practices. Sure, the occasional bad news may rear their ugly heads, like yesterday’s news that diabetic patients are more prone to tooth loss, but there isn’t really any good dental news. Today, that’s going to be different, as scientists say there’s no need for drilling and filling to stop tooth decay.
A new study led by associate professor Wendell Evan from the University of Sydney comes to prove that tooth decay can be prevented by means other than the dreaded drill and fill practiced by so many dentists around the world.
The drill and fill approach was to immediately drill into a tooth in order to get rid of any detected cavities, as tooth decay was considered to be a rapidly moving process. The hole left by the drilling process was then filled with a specific material designed to replace the missing part of the tooth.
After 50 years of research, dental experts have figured out that tooth decay is a much slower process than previously believed. It usually takes an average of 4 to 8 years for a decaying tooth to completely die. That is more than enough time for the decay to be treated, instead of just removed and filled over.
The study took place over the course of seven years, and shows a 30 to 50% drop in the need for fillings if a preventive approach is used. The scientists behind the study, led by Professor Wendell Evan, claim that a tooth should be drilled only an actual hole can already be seen because of the tooth decay.
Unless the cavity is obvious, there is no need for drilling and filling, as the preventive approach works better. The researchers released their preventive approach to the public, so that the drill and fill procedure be avoided as much as possible.
The Caries Management System (CMS), as the scientists dubbed the treatment, consists of four aspects:
- The use of fluoride in case tooth decay is detected as present by a specialist
- Talk to your dentist in order to improve your tooth brushing skills
- Have a diet with fewer snacks and sugar beverages
- Consult your dentist periodically to see if your risk of tooth decay has increased
Following this treatment, high-risk patients that participated in the study showed between 30 and 50 percent fewer chances of needing a filling.
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