For the past seven years, researchers across Australia have been working to learn more about tooth decay and the success of a non-invasive treatment approach called the Caries Management System (CMS). When most of us think of tooth decay, fillings are the next thought to come to mind. But this may not have to be the case for much longer.
While many believe that tooth decay happens rapidly, this long-term study shows that it generally takes years of tooth decay before a cavity will form. This means that instead of drilling at early signs of decay, dentists can use CMS methods to reduce and manage decay.
What is CMS?
A four-part treatment program used to reverse the effects of early decay, CMS requires some work on the patient’s end. The first step is for the dentist to apply fluid varnish to the early decay site, but after that the rest is up to the patient. Risk-specific monitoring will take place and patients are required to cut back on sugary foods and drinks while taking extra care to brush properly.
“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 before it becomes a cavity and requires a filling.”
The above statement by Dr. Wendell Evans explains what researchers found throughout their seven year study. The study itself involved 19 dental practices that used either the CMS practice or traditional drilling practices. Follow ups were performed with patients randomly throughout the next seven years, with the study showing that early decay can be stopped and reduced through the CMS method.
Visit Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology to read the entire study.
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