Current possibilities in occlusal caries management
Dental caries is a multifactorial disease that affects most populations throughout the world and it is still the primary cause of oral pain and tooth loss. The occlusal surfaces of posterior teeth are the most vulnerable sites for dental caries due to their anatomy. Therefore, the aim of the following article is to summarize current knowledge on occlusal caries development and the possibilities of its prevention. Although the overall caries rate today has fallen for populations in industrialized countries, the rate of occlusal surface caries has not decreased. This may be explained with fact that topically applied fluorides and their mode of action prevent caries better on smooth than on occlusal surfaces. As we know, tooth decay of first permanent molars causes a great deal of different short and long term difficulties for patients. Therefore, there is a continuous need for implementation of programs for caries prevention in permanent teeth. Nowadays, we like to treat our patients by minimally invasive methods. A very important step in our effective preventive treatment is sealing pits and fissures as a cornerstone of occlusal caries management. Reliable assessment of caries activity is also very important for defining treatment needs and plans. A very important decision, which should be made during occlusal caries management, is the selection of restorative material according to the treatment plan. Conclusion. Current possibilities in occlusal caries prevention and management are very effective. Therefore, dentists today do not have any excuse for avoiding the philosophy of Minimally Invasive Dentistry, especially when we talk about caries management of occlusal surfaces in permanent molars.
Occlusal caries; Prevention; Pit and fissure sealing
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