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J Am Dent Assoc. 2008 May;139(5):565-70; quiz 626.

Caries and restoration prevention.

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  • 1University of Florida College of Dentistry, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.



The authors analyzed studies of decayed, missing and filled (DMF) rates for surfaces and teeth in Norway published during the last 30 years. The result of active fluoride therapy combined with a change in criteria for when to place restorations led to a marked reduction in the need for restorations.


The authors reviewed independent, cross-sectional DMF studies of representative samples of young adults performed every 10 years during the period 1973 through 2006. The clinicians involved in the studies used standardized and calibrated methods. The authors of this article also reviewed an additional series of studies collecting DMF data from representative samples of 15-year-old adolescents that also had been carried out independently from 1979 through 1996. In these studies, the investigators examined clinical records and bitewing radiographs with attention to progression of carious lesions and restorative treatments.


The authors noted a marked reduction in the mean decayed, missing and filled surface (DMFS) scores from 1973 through 2006 in the two adult groups. They also found a significant decrease in treatment of caries. The reduction was most marked after the mid-1990s. They noted that the most dramatic change in the data from the 15-year-olds resulted from a change in the treatment criteria during the 1980s. Approximal lesions in enamel were monitored by the investigators of those studies in combination with the use of fluoride toothpaste.


A caries treatment approach based on active caries-preventive treatment and restrictive criteria for restoration placement are good bases for reducing the need for restorations as shown in cross-sectional studies reviewed.

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