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A Medical Approach to Preventing Cavities

Partners In Prevention 1New studies are identifying the key microbes and their interactions which cause a cavity. Essentially, we now know that dental decay is a “poly-microbial disease”, meaning the destruction of the tooth is caused by many different microorganisms and their complex interaction. Very promising stuff.

We also know that a person experiencing a cavity or needing a crown has a different ecosystem on their teeth, than a peer who has no decay. And with modern analytical techniques, we will soon be able to predict who will get more decay because of the nature and composition of the plaque on the teeth.

But are we getting ahead of ourselves in this sophisticated science? What we increasingly know at the scientific/microbiological level in the mouth, has very little to do with how we currently deliver dental services. Indeed, how we do dentistry now is about surgically or mechanically repairing an infection, time and time again.

A parallel between the disconnect between science and medical services was the management of gastric ulcers. For years, this problem involved surgery until it was found that ulcers were the result of an infection or imbalance in the gut’s microbial system. Once that discovery was made, medicine and its payers quickly followed with the appropriate treatment plan — a regimen of antibiotics, which not only saved huge costs, but improved patient outcomes.

The same pressures are building in management of the most common infection of all, dental decay. No longer can the payer ignore the savings and the improved standard of care by treating the cause of this problem — all those bacteria in the plaque which are breaking down the teeth.

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By Ross Perry
SOURCED: Partners In Prevention –

1 comment on this postSubmit yours
  1. Thanks for sharing such great information with us.

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