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      A paradigm shift in models of oral health care: An example and a call to action


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          The consequences of oral disease are wide-ranging and can have a major impact on an individual’s and that person’s family’s quality of life. A range of factors interact to determine a person’s oral and general health. Such factors can be biological, social, economic, political, cultural, or environmental, in addition to knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. Traditional models of oral health care, however, have generally ignored these factors and instead have focused on the treatment and management of existing pathology (tertiary prevention/downstream approach). This has had no effect on the rate of hospitalization or the inequitable distribution of dental diseases. To reduce the prevalence and severity of oral diseases at the individual and population levels, holistic evidence-informed prevention-based health-promoting models of care that focus on upstream determinants of health are required. The Oral Health Program at North Richmond Community Health in the state of Victoria, Australia, has developed an innovative model of oral health care based on the following principles: health promotion, disease prevention, risk-based access to care, client- and family-centered care, team-based provision of care, multidisciplinary care, and innovation. Evaluation of this approach is currently being conducted to study the sustainability of such a model under the current public dental service funding model.

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          Integrating the common risk factor approach into a social determinants framework.

          The common risk factor approach (CRFA) has been highly influential in integrating oral health into general health improvement strategies. However, dental policy makers and oral health promoters have interpreted the CRFA too narrowly. They have focussed too heavily on the common behavioural risks, rather than on the broader shared social determinants of chronic diseases. A behavioural preventive approach alone will have minimal impact in tackling oral health inequalities and indeed may widen inequalities across the population. Based on recent WHO policy recommendations, this study presents the case for updating the CRFA in accordance with the social determinants agenda. The theoretical basis for a social determinants framework for oral health inequalities is presented, and implications for oral health improvement strategies are highlighted. Future action to address oral health inequalities in middle- and high-income countries requires a radical policy reorientation towards tackling the structural and environmental determinants of chronic diseases. In more equal and fairer societies, all sections of the social hierarchy experience better health and social well-being. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
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            Minimal intervention dentistry for managing dental caries - a review: report of a FDI task group.

            This publication describes the history of minimal intervention dentistry (MID) for managing dental caries and presents evidence for various carious lesion detection devices, for preventive measures, for restorative and non-restorative therapies as well as for repairing rather than replacing defective restorations. It is a follow-up to the FDI World Dental Federation publication on MID, of 2000. The dental profession currently is faced with an enormous task of how to manage the high burden of consequences of the caries process amongst the world population. If it is to manage carious lesion development and its progression, it should move away from the 'surgical' care approach and fully embrace the MID approach. The chance for MID to be successful is thought to be increased tremendously if dental caries is not considered an infectious but instead a behavioural disease with a bacterial component. Controlling the two main carious lesion development related behaviours, i.e. intake and frequency of fermentable sugars, to not more than five times daily and removing/disturbing dental plaque from all tooth surfaces using an effective fluoridated toothpaste twice daily, are the ingredients for reducing the burden of dental caries in many communities in the world. FDI's policy of reducing the need for restorative therapy by placing an even greater emphasis on caries prevention than is currently done, is therefore, worth pursuing.
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              Operative caries management in adults and children.

              The management of dental caries has traditionally involved removal of all soft demineralised dentine before a filling is placed. However, the benefits of complete caries removal have been questioned because of concerns about the possible adverse effects of removing all soft dentine from the tooth. Three groups of studies have also challenged the doctrine of complete caries removal by sealing caries into teeth using three different techniques. The first technique removes caries in stages over two visits some months apart, allowing the dental pulp time to lay down reparative dentine (the stepwise excavation technique). The second removes part of the dentinal caries and seals the residual caries into the tooth permanently (partial caries removal) and the third technique removes no dentinal caries prior to sealing or restoring (no dentinal caries removal). This is an update of a Cochrane review first published in 2006. To assess the effects of stepwise, partial or no dentinal caries removal compared with complete caries removal for the management of dentinal caries in previously unrestored primary and permanent teeth. The following electronic databases were searched: the Cochrane Oral Health Group's Trials Register (to 12 December 2012), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2012, Issue 11), MEDLINE via OVID (1946 to 12 December 2012) and EMBASE via OVID (1980 to 12 December 2012). There were no restrictions regarding language or date of publication. Parallel group and split-mouth randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials comparing stepwise, partial or no dentinal caries removal with complete caries removal, in unrestored primary and permanent teeth were included. Three review authors extracted data independently and in triplicate and assessed risk of bias. Trial authors were contacted where possible for information. We used standard methodological procedures exacted by The Cochrane Collaboration. In this updated review, four new trials were included bringing the total to eight trials with 934 participants and 1372 teeth. There were three comparisons: stepwise caries removal compared to complete one stage caries removal (four trials); partial caries removal compared to complete caries removal (three trials) and no dentinal caries removal compared to complete caries removal (two trials). (One three-arm trial compared complete caries removal to both stepwise and partial caries removal.) Four studies investigated primary teeth, three permanent teeth and one included both. All of the trials were assessed at high risk of bias, although the new trials showed evidence of attempts to minimise bias.Stepwise caries removal resulted in a 56% reduction in incidence of pulp exposure (risk ratio (RR) 0.44, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.33 to 0.60, P < 0.00001, I(2) = 0%) compared to complete caries removal based on moderate quality evidence, with no heterogeneity. In these four studies, the mean incidence of pulp exposure was 34.7% in the complete caries removal group and 15.4% in the stepwise groups. There was also moderate quality evidence of no difference in the outcome of signs and symptoms of pulp disease (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.39 to 1.58, P = 0.50, I(2) = 0%).Partial caries removal reduced incidence of pulp exposure by 77% compared to complete caries removal (RR 0.23, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.69, P = 0.009, I(2) = 0%), also based on moderate quality evidence with no evidence of heterogeneity. In these two studies the mean incidence of pulp exposure was 21.9% in the complete caries removal groups and 5% in the partial caries removal groups. There was insufficient evidence to determine whether or not there was a difference in signs and symptoms of pulp disease (RR 0.27, 95% CI 0.05 to 1.60, P = 0.15, I(2) = 0%, low quality evidence), or restoration failure (one study showing no difference and another study showing no failures in either group, very low quality evidence).No dentinal caries removal was compared to complete caries removal in two very different studies. There was some moderate evidence of no difference between these techniques for the outcome of signs and symptoms of pulp disease and reduced risk of restoration failure favouring no dentinal caries removal, from one study, and no instances of pulp disease or restoration failure in either group from a second quasi-randomised study. Meta-analysis of these two studies was not performed due to substantial clinical differences between the studies. Stepwise and partial excavation reduced the incidence of pulp exposure in symptomless, vital, carious primary as well as permanent teeth. Therefore these techniques show clinical advantage over complete caries removal in the management of dentinal caries. There was no evidence of a difference in signs or symptoms of pulpal disease between stepwise excavation, and complete caries removal, and insufficient evidence to determine whether or not there was a difference in signs and symptoms of pulp disease between partial caries removal and complete caries removal. When partial caries removal was carried out there was also insufficient evidence to determine whether or not there is a difference in risk of restoration failure. The no dentinal caries removal studies investigating permanent teeth had a similar result with no difference in restoration failure. The other no dentinal caries removal study, which investigated primary teeth, showed a statistically significant difference in restoration failure favouring the intervention.Due to the short term follow-up in most of the included studies and the high risk of bias, further high quality, long term clinical trials are still required to assess the most effective intervention. However, it should be noted that in studies of this nature, complete elimination of risk of bias may not necessarily be possible. Future research should also investigate patient centred outcomes.

                Author and article information

                Family Medicine and Community Health
                Compuscript (Ireland )
                December 2015
                December 2015
                : 3
                : 4
                : 32-37
                [1] 1Oral Health, North Richmond Community Health Limited, Richmond, VIC 3121, Australia
                Author notes
                CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Dr. Bradley Christian, BDS, MDSc (Hons), Research Fellow, Oral Health, North Richmond Community Health Limited, 23 Lennox Street, Richmond, VIC 3121, Australia, Tel.: +61-9418-9825, Fax: +61-9428-2269, E-mail: bradleyc@ 123456nrch.com.au
                Copyright © 2015 Family Medicine and Community Health

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

                : 22 May 2015
                : 31 August 2015

                General medicine,Medicine,Geriatric medicine,Occupational & Environmental medicine,Internal medicine,Health & Social care
                oral health,Delivery of health care,dentistry,health promotion,dental health services


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