A seven-year study undertaken by the University of Sydney has concluded that non-invasive and preventative oral care can help to reverse tooth damage.
The study discovered that dental decay can be stopped, reversed and prevented by “no-drill” techniques. Such dental care reduced the need for fillings by 30-50%.
Lead author of the study, Wendell Evans, Associate Professor Wendell Evans of the University of Sydney , said: “For a long time it was believed that tooth decay was a rapidly progressive phenomenon and the best way to manage it was to identify early decay and remove it immediately in order to prevent a tooth surface from breaking up into cavities. After removing the decay, the affected tooth is then restored with a filling material – this process is sometimes referred to as ‘drilling and filling’.”
Whilst the report is tailored towards Australian dentists, its findings are universal for dental practices and patients alike. Reversing tooth damage requires early discovery and treatment of decay before cavities form. Four major points have been highlighted:
- Application of high concentration fluoride varnish by dentists to the sites of early decay
- Attention to home tooth brushing skills
- Restriction of between-meal snacks and beverages containing added sugar
- Risk-specific monitoring
It may seem obvious, but the results are clear. Avoiding sugary drinks and snacks, having a good oral care routine, and regular visits to the dentist can help to reverse tooth damage and prevent invasive procedures.
Professor Evans also highlighted the need for dental care by patients themselves in the report’s conclusion: “The reduced decay risk and reduced need for fillings was understandably welcomed by patients. However, patients play an important role in their treatment. This treatment will need a partnership between dentists and patients to be most successful.”
‘No-drill’ dentistry stops tooth decay, says research [via The University of Sydney]