Oral Health Group

Dentistry 2.0

June 2, 2015
by Kahaliah Richards

Partners In Prevention 1One of the most popular articles in dentistry today is written by a pediatric dental specialist at the University of Washington.

The article has a long, complicated title but upon reading it, I thought it should have been called “Dentistry 2.0″.

Here are some excerpts which point to the new thinking in Dentistry 2.0:

  • Historically, the approach to management of caries (dental decay) has been surgical with the goal of removing demineralized and carious lesions and placing restorations. Although this does treat the specific carious lesion, it does not treat the underlying disease that caused the lesion as evidenced by the frequent development of recurrent caries lesions following restoration treatment.” 
  • One of the greatest barriers to changing the current system that focuses on surgical management of caries is the reimbursement system. Dentists, particularly in the United States, are reimbursed for procedures, not for outcomes. Disease management and active surveillance requires multiple visits and interventions, such as remineralization therapies and counseling that are either poorly reimbursed or not reimbursed at all. In most dental schools and in the regional dental board examinations, the focus is on the ability to cut preparations in teeth that will be retentive rather than on tooth tissue preservation and disease management… One of the aims of the Affordable Care Act is to focus on quality outcomes while reducing costs. This may provide incentive in the future to shift away from surgical intervention for dental caries and move toward the recognition and management of the caries disease process.

So, Dentistry 1.0 is all about surgical intervention without treating the underlying disease. By contrast, Dentistry 2.0 seems to be about finding those patients at high risk and treating the underlying disease to avoid surgical restoration and to improve the patient’s oral health and overall health.

Which version of dentistry do you think the aging population wants?

By: Ross Perry
SOURCED: Partners In Prevention – http://partnersinprevention.ca/dentistry-2-0/

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