Trends in preventive care: caries risk assessment and indications for sealants.
BACKGROUND: In the 21st century, risk assessment models will continue to be developed. By understanding patients' susceptibility to disease, better treatment and preventive regimens can be offered. As the causative agent of dental caries is bacterial, the interaction between the susceptible host, the causative agent and the environment determine whether caries occurs--regardless of the patient's age. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: This article reviews risk assessment for dental caries and the implication for developing preventive strategies. It also describes the indications and uses of sealants in the prevention of dental caries. (+info)
Rationale and treatment approach in minimally invasive dentistry.
BACKGROUND: Current methods of detecting caries, especially fissure caries, are inaccurate, causing some caries to go undetected until it has reached more advanced stages. Minimally invasive dentistry is a philosophy in which the goal of intervention to conserve healthy tooth structure. The authors review the rationale and role of air abrasion in successful practice in the 21st century that includes the philosophy of minimal intervention. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: This objective encompasses a range of clinical procedures that includes assessment of caries risk to reinforce patient self-help, early detection of the disease before lesion cavitation to fortify the oral environment, restoration of fissure caries with maximum retention of sound tooth structure and sealant placement in unaffected areas. This conservative approach minimizes the restoration/re-restoration cycle, thus benefiting the patient over a lifetime. (+info)
Use of fissure sealant retention as an outcome measure in a dental school setting.
The purpose of this study was to describe and assess the use of fissure sealant retention as a quality measure of the delivery system for pediatric dentistry. The Pediatric Dentistry Section at the Ohio State University College of Dentistry adopted Sealant retention as a measure of quality. Sealant retention in first and second molars was evaluated at each six-month recall appointment. Sealants were categorized as satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Two hundred five sealants were evaluated between March 1998 and March 1999. The mean age of the patients at the time of sealant evaluation was 14.0 +/- 2.9. Mean sealant retention period was 29.8 +/- 23.2 months, with a range of 0.9 to 148 months. Median sealant retention period was 23.2 months. Overall, 75.6 percent of the sealed teeth were classified as satisfactory. Use of this data in making improvements is discussed. Our results indicate that the use of sealant retention is a suitable measure for quality of care in pediatric dentistry. (+info)
Inherited risks for susceptibility to dental caries.
Dental caries incidence is affected by host factors that may be related to the structure of dental enamel, immunologic response to cariogenic bacteria, or the composition of saliva. Genetic variation of the host factors may contribute to increased risks for dental caries. This systematic review examined the literature to address the question, "Is the risk for dental decay related to patterns of genetic inheritance?" Numerous reports have described a potential genetic contribution to the risk for dental caries. Studies on twins have provided strong evidence for the role of inheritance. Establishing a basis for a genetic contribution to dental caries will provide a foundation for future studies utilizing the human genome sequence to improve understanding of the disease process. Inherited disorders of tooth development with altered enamel structure increase the incidence of dental caries. Specific genetic linkage has not been determined for all of the syndromes of altered tooth development. Consequently, genetic screens of large populations for genes or mutations associated with increased caries susceptibility have not been done. Altered immune response to the cariogenic bacteria may also increase the incidence of caries. Association between specific patterns of HLA genetic inheritance and dental caries risk is weak and does not provide a predictable basis for predicting future decay rates. The evidence supporting an inherited susceptibility to dental caries is limited. Genetic linkage approaches on well-characterized populations with clearly defined dental caries incidence will be required to further analyze the relationship between inheritance and dental caries. (+info)
Exposure to metal ions and susceptibility to dental caries.
Results from several epidemiologic studies have shown that there are large differences in the prevalence of dental caries from one region to another within the United States as well as in other countries. It has been postulated that the observed differences may be attributed in part at least to exposure to trace elements such as selenium, vanadium, molybdenum, strontium, and lead. Although data from epidemiologic studies usually support this hypothesis, direct evidence is sparse with the possible exception of exposure to lead. Data from several epidemiologic studies and animal-based research support the concept that lead is a caries-promoting element. Lead mimics calcium in several respects and may affect development of teeth and salivary glands, clearly enhancing susceptibility to dental caries. Elevated blood levels are found most commonly in persons residing in inner cities, particularly among the poor. Many states require blood lead level to be monitored in young children. Where feasible, these records should form part of health history and be available to the treating dental practitioner to ensure that extra preventive procedures may be implemented. (+info)
Prevention of early childhood caries in North Carolina medical practices: implications for research and practice.
Early childhood caries is a significant public health problem in low-income children, with important negative consequences for the child and the family. The purpose of this paper is to describe the development, implementation, and preliminary outcomes of preventive dentistry programs in North Carolina that target low-income children from birth to thirty-five months of age. The focus is on Into the Mouths of Babes, a statewide program in which pediatricians, family physicians, and providers in community health clinics are reimbursed by Medicaid to provide preventive dental services for children (risk assessment, screening, referral, fluoride varnish application) and caregivers (counseling). The provider intervention includes continuing medical education lectures and interactive sessions, practice guidelines for the patient interventions, case-based problems, practical strategies for implementation, a toolkit with resource materials, and follow-up training. In the first two years of the statewide program, 1,595 medical providers have been trained. The number of providers billing for these services has steadily increased, and by the last quarter of 2002, the number of visits in which preventive dental services were provided in medical offices reached 10,875. A total of 38,056 preventive dental visits occurred in medical offices in 2002. By the end of 2002, only sixteen of the state's one hundred counties had no pediatrician, family physician, or local health department participating. The preliminary results from this program demonstrate that nondental professionals can integrate preventive dental services into their practices. The program has increased access to preventive dental services for young Medicaid children whose access to dentists is restricted. Assessments of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of both the provider and patient interventions are under way. (+info)
Oral health of patients with Parkinson's disease: factors related to their better dental status.
Contrary to intuitive preconceptions, patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) have been reported to have less carious teeth. The present study was undertaken to seek responsible factors for this unexpected finding. The PD patients consisted of 31 consecutive university hospital outpatients who were 60 years old or over, and the controls of 104 comparable outpatients at a dental clinic. They were inspected for their dental status, and interviewed on their toothbrushing habits and dietary preferences. Their unstimulated saliva samples were collected and their flow volume and pH were measured. The total numbers of carious teeth (DMFT: Decayed, Missing, and Filled Teeth) and other related variables were compared between the two groups by stratification. In total, the DMFT for the PD patients was significantly fewer than for the control. The salivary flow and pH were correlated to the DMFT, but the difference between the two groups was not significant. Frequency of toothbrushing was higher among the PD patients. The lower DMFT among the patients became insignificant when salivary pH was 6 or less, toothbrushing was 2 times a day or less, or the response was positive to the question on the habit of eating snacks between regular meals. In summary, the oral health of PD outpatients with mild symptoms was better than the controls. However, in cases with poor oral hygiene status, the PD patient's oral health was not different from the control. This suggests that they are not invariably protected from caries-associated factors. The generic property of PD may not fully explain the apparent difference in DMFT. (+info)
Diagnostic and prognostic tests for oral diseases: practical applications.
Dental caries and periodontitis are initiated by specific bacteria and modified by host and environmental factors. Individuals have great differences in their rates of disease progression, but a small set of risk factors, such as smoking and diabetes, can distinguish patients at high risk for more severe disease. The application of information about factors that influence disease can be used to improve disease prevention and management. Knowledge of when specific information may be valuable should lead to the optimal management of individual patients. The use of diagnostic and prognostic tests and their application to the assessment and management of dental caries and periodontitis are the focus of this review. (+info)