Goodbye "drill and fill" according to findings of University of Sydney study
The days of a "drill and fill" approach to treating tooth decay may be numbered.
According to a new study undertaken by the University of Sydney, tooth decay can not only be stopped in its tracks but reversed and prevented all together without resorting to traditional treatments.dental laser tips
Associate Professor Wendell Evans, who headed the study, said their findings indicate that fillings could be reduced by 30 to 50 per cent, largely through a focus on preventative oral care.
"It’s unnecessary for patients to have fillings because they’re not required in many cases of dental decay ... Our study shows that a preventive approach has major benefits compared to current practice," he said.
But with evidence now emerging that decay progresses at a far slower rate than previously thought, with decay taking four to eight years to move from the outer enamel layer of the tooth to the inner dentine layer, the need for drilling and filling can be dramatically reduced in favour of of stopping the early decay by other means.
Professor Evans and his team have developed the Caries Management System (CMS), which sets down protocols for the assessment and treatment of decay that has not yet progressed to the cavity stage.
These new protocols mean that "drilling and filling" should only be necessary where a cavity has already developed.