Domenick T. Zero DDS, MS
The early stages of this process can be arrested or reversed by modifying the cariogenic challenge (etiologic factors) through control of plaque biofilm and cariogenic dietary factors, and increasing protective factors such as fluoride exposure and insuring adequate salivary flow. It is now widely recognized that the surgical (restorative) approach to managing dental caries does not prevent further disease progression. The principles of the modern management of dental caries involve: detecting and assessing caries lesions at an earlier stage; determining the caries risk status of the patient; making a diagnosis if disease is actually present; establishing a prognosis; applying intervention strategies focused on preventing, arresting, and possibly reversing the carious process; and delaying restorative treatment until absolutely necessary.
There is increasing interest in when and how we detect caries and the development of new technologies to assist in this process. Caries risk assessment tools have been developed, but past caries experience remains the best predictor of future caries. The recognition that dental caries can be arrested and possibly reversed if detected at an early stage is leading to renewed interest in innovative intervention strategies. There is considerable enthusiasm for new approaches to manage dental caries, i.e., nutraceuticals and non-fluoride remineralizing agents; however, clinical recommendation must be based on sound scientific evidence. The use fluoride toothpaste, fluoride mouthrinse, professionally applied fluoride (varnish), preventive and therapeutic use of dental sealants remain the mainstays of caries prevention.
Participants will learn: