Dear DrBicuspid.com member,
What if they gave a carious lesion and nobody came? As Senior Editor Laird Harrison discovered, it could mean the end of the drill/fill/bill routine that's part and parcel of every dentist's day. And a big chunk of every dentist's income.
But prevention has been a key tool in the dental arsenal since the dawn of fluoride. The good clinical news: a flood of new technologies and techniques could banish cavities forever. (Or close enough.) As one researcher notes, "Within 10 years, we'll be able to eradicate caries in treatable populations." Caries, in short, could go the way of smallpox, polio, and the dodo.
What could make 2017 the Year of Living Without Caries? For starters, focused caries management programs akin to the perio programs dentists have been pushing for years. That means education, education, and more education for patients, and exploiting existing practices. We're talking fluoride to the max (from promoting further water fluoridation to varnishes), using sealants and antibacterials where appropriate, and remineralizing enamel with ACP.
But the cool stuff is coming around the bend: Lasers, vaccines for caries-causing bugs, and genetically-modified S. mutans that don't produce tooth-destroying acid.
In the meantime, you might want to start rethinking how you'll do business in the future. Can you make money on prevention? Can you expand your patient base? And can your staff pick up more of the work? For the answers, check out "The End of Cavities? Part I" this week...and Part II the week after.
Products, products, products
Echoes from the recent ADA show continue to reverberate. We'll be reporting on still more sessions over the coming weeks, but one piece to check out now is our ADA Product Roundup, a culling of some new, notable, and admittedly, weird products that could make your day a lot easier.