A recent widely reported study by Australian researchers has shown that it may not be as important as once thought to drill and fill cavities. Researcher found that using a system they called the Caries Management System they could reduce fillings by 30% to 50% in the overall population, and up to 80% in high risk patients who'd had two or more fillings in the past year. If this sounds good to you and you'd like to learn more about the CMS, then keep reading.
One of the important aspects of the CMS is an initial assessment of the patient's diet. The patient then works with the dentist to limit the amount of between meal snacking, and beverages with added sugar in their diet as this can contribute to plaque and decay. Additionally snacks can leave small amounts of food scraps on or between the teeth, which can be an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
Home dental hygiene
The dentist also works with the patient to improve their home brushing and flossing techniques to help the patient achieve full plaque removal at home. The patient needs to brush their teeth twice daily using a pea sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. This is combination of the style of brushing and brushing for enough time, as well as regularly changing out toothbrushes so that the toothbrushes remain in great condition and effective at removing food buildup and plaque.
Regular dental checkups
An important part of the CMS is regular dental checkups, so that the dentist can observe the early signs of decay. The dentist takes a full review at the first appointment of all signs of decay, as well as taking bitewing radiographs of the teeth to review the depth of any cavities already on the teeth. The system recognizes that decay has quite a slow progression of 4 to 8 years so it many cases taking some time to try and repair the cavity and slow the decay progress can be more useful than drilling the teeth and adding a filling.
This means that the dentist can take some preventative measures early in the process including applying high fluoride solutions to the face of the teeth to help repair the teeth. Regular checkups also mean that the dentist can discuss any issues with hygiene processes and deviations from the diet.
The exact schedule for checkups is determined with the dentist, depending on the initial state of the patient's teeth and their dental history. For the highest risk patients this can be as frequently as one a month.
If you are interested in exploring the CMS protocols, you should make an appointment at your local dental clinic to discuss the possibility of using CMS in your treatment.