Optimal caries preventive measures

Different measures have been proposed for preventing and arresting carious lesions. It is the task of the dental professional to select, based on evidence and on the patient’s profile, which preventive measure(s) is most appropriate for a specific clinical situation. In many cases, more than one preventive measure needs to be applied. The whole population approach and individual caries risk assessment are essential activities, alongside with the provision/usage of personalised preventive measure(s) that will ultimately determine the level of reduction of carious lesions in patients and populations.

Dental caries is a preventable disease. Therefore the best strategy for managing the disease is to intervene before its signs and symptoms are clinically detected. Disturbance of the biofilm (dental plaque) by brushing teeth with a sufficiently-fluoridated toothpaste on a daily basis is an effective measure which contributes to the control of enamel carious lesion development. Even disturbing the biofilm from cavitated dentine lesions appears to arrest further progression of such lesions85. The effectiveness of different measures for preventing and/or arresting carious lesions for use in MID will be discussed below.

Summary of carious control measurements and their evidence-based effectiveness

  • Diet counseling and sugar substitutes
  • Fluoridated agents
  • Chlorhexidine-containing agents
  • Silver diammine fluoride
  • Casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate agents
  • Ozone gas
  • Infiltration method


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