In early December,a study was published in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology looking at the outcomes from 1,000 patients in 22 dental practices at the University of Sydney in Australia that were involved in a preventive program. The conclusions are not surprising in that some preventive / remineralization programs can prevent or halt the growth of caries. What is challenging is how they measured outcomes over the long term.
The key to a successful preventive / remineralization program, is to engage the patient in changing behaviours and using the appropriate tools for remineralizing these early lesions. The other important element is to provide the dental team with an instrument or device to measure changes in lesion size or volume over time.
Currently we rely upon visual examination and radiographs to detect lesions and try to monitor their progress. This has many challenges especially since a lesion may be increasing in size beneath the tooth surface while it continues to exhibit a brown or white stain on the tooth surface. Radiographs are not capable of measuring subtle lesion volume changes in interproximal region and can’t detect smooth surface lesions. Many times in clinical practice I had used the “latest” preventive home and office therapy only to find that 2 years later cavitation had developed. During this time the lesion did not change visually and we tried to ascertain whether the patients were following our home care advice.
The Canary System is the only device that can detect and measure caries on all tooth surfaces and around the margins of restorations. It measures changes in the crystal structure of the tooth and not fluorescence or glow from stain or oral bacteria on the tooth surface. This allows the dental team to detect lesions and monitor their response to various preventive therapies. In developing our system we also created patient reports and audible readings so that patients can become actively involved in their preventive care. In our two clinical trials and from discussions with our users, we find that patients are more engaged in their care when they can become involved in monitoring their progress. Having a device to provide a measurement, a scale that patients understand and audible and printed reports we find, gets the patients involved in their care and we get much better compliance in the long term.
Visit the company web site http://www.thecanarysystem.com for more information.