Minimal Intervention Dentistry

1430 – 1500 

Prevention is the hallmark of the modern Oral Health Practitioner (OHP). Despite the known benefits of prevention and its alignment with Minimal Intervention Dentistry (MID) being evidence-based practice, research has shown prevention continues to be remain absent in its translation into clinical practice. A project implemented in a large Victorian community dental agency, funded by the Alliance for a Cavity Free Future, found clinical procedures provided for children aged 0-12 years, which are recognised MID focused, were significantly below the expectation based on Australia’s population oral disease prevalence. As a natural experiment, the intervention group received a one-day professional development training on MID practice, the standard care group received no intervention. The preliminary findings identified two key observations: a) both groups have significant variation in the delivery of dental services, and b) the intervention group, which was more MID orientated, was more productive and more clinically effective based on Quality-Adjusted Tooth Years (QATY) outcomes compared to standard care. Results from this work has demonstrated the hypothesis that public dental services do not support prevention appears to be unsubstantiated. This presentation will provide an update on the scientific theory and clinical knowledge behind three treatment modalities and provide practical examples how they are applied in practice. These procedures should be recognised by the modern OHP as being both preventive and therapeutic. Topical fluoride varnish applications: Regular professionally applied concentrated fluoride therapy has clinical benefits for children from as young as 12 months of age. Fissure sealants: There is growing evidence ‘sealing’ caries into dentine can arrest caries progression. Stainless steel crowns: Choice of dental materials should not only consider consumer acceptability but also on longevity, patient co-operation, and cost versus re-treatment or failure risks.