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Whether deciduous teeth should be restored has caused controversy for at least 150 years and the argument rages on. Dental caries is a controllable process. The role of operative dentistry and restorations, as far as caries control is concerned, is to make cavitated, uncleansible lesions accessible to plaque control. However, deciduous teeth are exfoliated and perhaps non-operative treatments (plaque control, fluoride, diet) are all that are required to take cavitated teeth pain-free to exfoliation. Are such techniques child-friendly, obviating the need for anaesthesia or the use of handpieces? Alternatively, are they wanton neglect? This paper is written by a cariologist who never treated children, to present alternative managements and rehearse these arguments from a cariological perspective. Clinical Relevance: This paper might serve as a discussion document for a group of dentists deciding practice policy with regard to the management of caries in deciduous teeth.


Edwina Kidd. Should deciduous teeth be restored? Reflections of a cariologist. Dental update. 2012 Apr;39(3):159-62, 165-6

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PMID: 22675887

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