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Researchers test a pain-free way to treat childhood tooth decay
Updated: 1/31/2013 6:00:00 AM
 

Researchers test a pain-free way to treat childhood tooth decay

Children need to go to the dentist regularly to make sure that they aren't experiencing any serious oral issues. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease of children between the ages of 6 and 11. This is one of the many reasons why parents need to make sure that they have a discount dental plan to help them pay for their children to receive regular dental care. 

Unfortunately, many children throw tantrums when they have to go to the dentist, especially if they need to have a cavity filled. This procedure usually involves drills, something that children are particularly afraid of, which is why taking kids to the dentist can be an extremely stressful situation for many parents. However, researchers from the University of Otago Dental School recently announced that they may have found a way to combat this common problem.

Drill-free treatment
HealthCanal.com reports that the scientists from the university are using something called the "Hall technique" to treat tooth decay in children without using a drill. This technique involves placing a stainless steel crown over a tooth to seal decay in, rather than the traditional method of using a drill to remove the decayed part of the tooth and then place a filling inside. Once the crown is in place, it starves the decay so that it is unable to progress. Then, the crown falls out naturally with the tooth when the child is around age 10. 

To test the effectiveness of this process, the researchers performed the technique on nearly 100 children between 5 and 8 years old, while another 90 were treated in the traditional fashion. They discovered that children treated in the new way reported experiencing less dental anxiety than those using the traditional method. 

Furthermore, the new method was about 20 minutes quicker than the traditional one, and was far more successful. 

"After six months, children who had conventional treatment had twice as many dental abscesses and nearly three times as many replacement fillings as those who were treated with the Hall technique," researcher Lyndie Foster Page, BSc, told HealthCanal.com. 

These findings suggest that there may be a more effective and pain-free way to treat cavities in children. This may keep kids from developing a fear of the dentist that can last a lifetime, which may encourage them to visit the dentist more often. 

© 2013 Brafton Inc.

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