smile1Researchers out of Australia have recently revealed the results of a study which suggests that early tooth decay can be stopped if found and treated early; in fact, tooth decay could even be reversed, and all without the use of a drill.
This technique is called the “Caries Management System,” and it is technically a preventive oral care system focusing on overall dental hygiene improvement through four steps: high concentration fluoride varnish on early decay, improved brushing, snack and sugar restrictions, and risk-specific monitoring.

“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,” comments lead study author Wendell Evans

The University of Sydney associate professor goes on to say, “Over 50 years of research studies have shown that decay is not always progressive and develops more slowly than was previously believed. For example, it takes an average of four to eight years for decay to progress from the tooth’s outer layer (enamel) to the inner layer (dentine). That is plenty of time for the decay to be detected and treated decay to be detected and treated before it becomes a cavity and requires a filling.”

For the study, the researchers looked at the results of 19 dental practices in which either CMS or traditional “drill-and-fill” techniques were used.

Furthermore, he attests, “This research signals the need for a major shift in the way tooth decay is managed by dentists — dental practice in Australia needs to change. Our study shows that a preventative approach has major benefits compared to current practice.”

Finally, Evans adds, “A tooth should only be drilled and filled where an actual hole-in the-tooth (cavity) is already evident.”