A seven-year study from the University of Sydney has revealed that tooth decay can be stopped, reversed, and prevented without the need for the traditional ‘fill and drill’ approach that has dominated dental care for decades.
If you have regular dental checkups and practice preventative oral care, your need for fillings is reduced by 30 to 50% according to the study. In this case, prevention is worth more than the ounce of cure.
“It’s unnecessary for patients to have fillings because they’re not required in many cases of dental decay,” said the study’s lead author, Associate Professor Wendell Evans of the University of Sydney.
“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. However, 50 years of research studies have shown that decay is not always progressive and develops more slowly than was previously believed.”
“That is plenty of time for the decay to be detected and treated before it becomes a cavity and requires a filling.”
HOW TO PREVENT TOOTH DECAY:
- Dentists can apply a high concentration of fluoride varnish to the areas where tooth decay might begin.
- Pay attention to how you are brushing your teeth at home. Your dentist makes recommendations – please follow them.
- Try not to eat too many between-meal-snacks with sugar. And, avoid sugared beverages.