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The role of management and prevention in restorative dentistry

The role of management and prevention in restorative dentistry

Read about why management of disease is key to the success of restorative dentistry interventions and how Module 2 of the MSc Restorative Dental Science can help you prepare to better synthesise diagnostic information.

The MSc in Restorative Dental Science provides high quality postgraduate education to enhance the quality and level of dentistry delivered within a clinical setting. Each module provides deep and systematic knowledge and an understanding of the key concepts and evidence base underpinning case assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning and delivery of restorative dentistry.  

The management of disease involves the delivery of evidence-based prevention, which is key to the success of any restorative intervention. Module two focuses on the diagnosis and management of dental caries and tooth surface loss, including replacement of lost tooth structure using direct restorations. This module reflects the needs of a wide and diverse range of patient population groups across primary care.  

Dental caries is one of the most prevalent non-communicable diseases known to man. Epidemiology has also shown the  significant global oral disease burden of untreated dental caries.1 The UK patient survey carried out in General Dental Practice in 2018, showed 1 in 4 adults attending with active caries in an average of 2.1 teeth.2 Additionally, the latest data for UK fifteen-year-olds showed 46% had active caries.3 This data pre-dates the pandemic and could mean dentists are seeing more caries within primary care.  

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Dentists need to be mindful to take appropriate action to support all patients, irrespective of age. This includes the ageing population who are increasingly keeping more of their natural teeth. This means more adults will enter older age with some or all of their natural teeth including those who have previously been restored. It is clear the management of dental caries plays a role in the successful  outcome of the restorative treatment plan.  

Toothwear is also recognised as an increasing challenge in restorative dentistry. The triad of erosion, attrition and abrasion has been known for many years, and the contribution of erosion to toothwear is increasing.4 Epidemiological studies over the past 20 years both in the UK and abroad have highlighted the prevalence for dental erosion, and in recent reviews on the global prevalence of erosive wear, it has been deemed a common phenomenon of the general population of developed countries.4 The management of tooth surface loss demands a full understanding of its aetiology and presentation.  

Module 2 will prepare dentists to better synthesise diagnostic information and produce appropriate diagnosis and management strategies for patients with dental caries and tooth surface loss. This module will also allow dentists to interpret clinical information and formulate appropriate strategies for the restoration of teeth using direct dental materials.   

In addition to the management of dental caries and tooth surface loss there is an increasing demand for tooth whitening as part of general treatment. This module will therefore also prepare dentists to better formulate appropriate strategies for the use of tooth whitening within primary dental care.  

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  1. The Global Burden of Oral Disease 
  2. Oral Health Survey of Adults attending general dental practice 2018, Public Health England
  3. Child Dental Health Survey 2013, Health & Social Information Centre
  4. Clinical guidelines for dental erosion Diagnosis, prevention and management of dental erosion  2021

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