Non-Operative Control of Cavitated Approximal Caries Lesions in Primary Molars: A Prospective Evaluation of Cases

Accepted manuscript online: Full publication history
AbstractThe effect of non-operative caries control at cavity level is often questioned. This prospective study of cases aims to evaluate the suitability of non-operative treatment of active cavitated approximal caries lesions in primary molars by assessing clinical changes of lesions over time. Further, we evaluate childrens and parents attitudes in response to non-operative cavity treatment. Thirty-nine children attending a community dental service, aged 5–11 years, joined the evaluation based on the following criteria: i) presence of at least one active cavitated caries lesion in the distal surface of first primary molar or mesial surface of the second primary molar extending up to two thirds into dentin assessed radiographically, ii) absence of spontaneous pain, iii) absence of pulpal or periapical pathology. After informed consent one randomly selected lesion per child had overhanging enamel margins adjusted and was treated non-operatively by the child/parent performing daily site-specific oral hygiene with a fluoridated toothpaste, supplemented by professional topical fluoride treatment and dietary advice. Nine lesions/children dropped out. Fifteen lesions survived without pulpal or periapical pathology for an average of 26 m (range 9-44). Lesion failure was associated with poor compliance or lesions not suited for the method. Children and parents were highly satisfied with the treatment. Our study identifies key factors in the performance of non-operative cavity treatment in a dental practice setting. It is concluded that non-operative cavity treatment can be a helpful method to control caries lesion progression in primary teeth and may familiarize the child with dental treatment.