Prevention of dental disease

Prevention is better than cure. Preventing the formation and progression of a carious process will give a better prognosis and this chapter covers the preventive aspects of dental caries .

1. Why is the dentin within a cavity in rampant caries is soft to probing?

In Rampant caries, the dentin within the dentin within the cavity is soft due to rapid dissolution and removal of mineral salts.

Ref: Lloyd Baum,Ralph W.Phillips,Melvin R.Lund.Textbook of Operative Dentistry.W.B.Saunders company;1985; 4

2. What is the difference in the colour of the dentin in rapidly progressing caries and slow spreading caries?

Dentin within the cavity in rapidly spreading caries would be only slightly discolored. Since its surface is lost at a rapid rate it has only little chance to get stained by coffee and other foods. Whereas in slowly progressing carious lesions, the cavities are dark brown or black in colour due to absorbtion of stains from the food and the darkness is proportional to the long months of exposure.

Ref: Lloyd Baum,Ralph W.Phillips,Melvin R.Lund.Textbook of Operative Dentistry.W.B.Saunders company;1985; 4

3. What is the initial treatment of a caries susceptible patient?

Depending upon the relative activity of the carious process, one or more of the following is considered.

• Removal of soft, diseased dentin

• Open cavities should be filled with cement dressings to keep out saliva, bacteria and food particles

• Reducing the overall microbial activity by diet modification and frequent cleansing of teeth

• Fluoride application to increase enamel resistance to dissolution

Ref: Lloyd Baum,Ralph W.Phillips,Melvin R.Lund.Textbook of Operative Dentistry.W.B.Saunders company;1985; 5