Treating restorative dentistry to health


The concepts that underpin much of dental practice need refocusing so as to accommodate the many scientific advances that have been made in recent years in understanding oral disease processes and their management. 'Treatment' should come to mean what it says, namely the curing of diseases- and much of this can only be accomplished by non-invasive means. Restorative procedures should be seen simply as prosthetic, making up for lost tissues. The sequence of events with respect to caries should usually be diagnosis followed by treatment, and then the option of restoration if appropriate. In order to achieve this state of affairs for the whole population, I believe it will be necessary to stream dental undergraduates so that, while a portion learn restorative techniques and become licensed to practise them, the remainder concentrate on the non-restorative aspects of dentistry, having a special emphasis on the prevention and non-invasive 'treatment' of oral and dental diseases, including caries, on a community scale. This latter group of dentists would not be licensed to undertake restorative procedures


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Elderton, R. Treating restorative dentistry to health. Br Dent J 181, 220–225 (1996).

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