Preserve and protect
John Rafelt discusses the importance of tooth preservation alongside caries prevention.
In recent years, the shift in focus from restoration to prevention has meant big changes to the way that professionals approach treatment. From a greater onus being placed on oral care routines, to a wider use of fluoride varnishes and other shields against decay, today the goal is to stop caries before they even begin to form.
However, what about high-risk patients who are prone to caries, or patients already with restorations looking to have these replaced or repaired? With these patient groups in mind, there is also the need for preservation as well as prevention.
It is estimated that as many as 90.2 per cent of all adults in the UK population have a filling. Furthermore, some estimates state that 75 per cent of British adults do not have all of their natural teeth.
In many ways this makes sense – it is only recently that the dental profession has started to explore prevention, and for years there was more of a “drill and fill” approach in the industry, especially as this was believed to be the most beneficial way forward. It’s also worth remembering that past treatments for caries were much more invasive than they can be today.