The symposium provided dental practitioners with a comprehensive overview of international and local caries management research high profile leaders.
The program gave context and guidance for the incorporation of the caries management system into clinical practice to deliver enhanced patient outcomes.
“We were joined by a large number of attendees from all over Australia, including dental general practitioners, staff and alumni, as well as delegates from dental companies such as Colgate and GC Australia,” says Dr Rahena Akhter, who organised and hosted the event.
Professor Margherita Fontana was the keynote speaker and provided an overview of currently accepted, evidence-based recommendations for the non-operative management of non-cavitated and cavitated caries lesions. She discussed current concepts for caries lesion detection (eg cavitated and non-cavitated lesions) and diagnosis (eg active vs. arrested lesions), as well as non-operative strategies for caries lesion management.
Dr Christina Adler spoke about the oral microbiome which is a dense and diverse community of microbes covering every surface of the mouth, and is increasingly recognised as being inextricably linked to oral and systemic health. Dr Adler discussed the influence of ‘nature and nurture’ on the oral microbiome in health and disease, and how this is shifting our understanding of the caries process.
Professor Michael Swain summarised 25 years of his research work done by a number of postgraduate students on enamel and dentinal caries. These studies have focused on generating a basic ‘biomaterials science’ understanding of these conditions so that strategies for remineralisation of caries can be understood and quantified.
Professor Laurie Walsh AO summarised current strategies for caries risk assessment, with a focus on identifying patient lifestyle and medical background factors, plaque biofilm dysbiosis and salivary defence, to establish an overall risk profile.
Professor David Manton spoke about how dental caries are still one of the most prevalent primarily preventable conditions on the globe. Surprisingly, the primary cause of dental caries – a cariogenic diet – has often been ignored or barely mentioned, as modifying the diet involves behaviour modification which is a proposition too difficult for many clinicians and researchers.
Professor Woosung Sohn argued that the modern concept of dental caries management calls for a paradigm shift from restoration to prevention and minimally invasive interventions. He discussed the barriers to this paradigm shift and strategies to overcome them from a population oral health perspective.