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Vol. 72, No. 5
ISSN: 1488-2159
June 2006


Minimal Intervention Dentistry: Part 2. Strategies for Addressing Restorative Challenges in Older Patients


• Jane M. Chalmers, BDSc, MS, PhD, DABSCD •

A b s t r a c t

Minimal intervention dentistry (MID), a modern, evidence-based approach to caries management in dentate patients, uses a medical model whereby disease is controlled by the “oral physician” and an affiliated dental team. Geriatric MID helps clinicians to address the ever-increasing restorative challenges presented by older patients, including erosion, abrasion, demineralization, rampant coronal and root caries, retained roots, recurrent caries (necessitating crowns and other repairs), subgingival caries, “wet” oral environments, salivary dysfunction, disruptive behaviours, poor compliance with preventive care, high plaque levels, and financial and other restrictions on care options. The main components of a geriatric approach to MID are assessment of the risk of disease, with a focus on early detection and prevention; external and internal remineralization; use of a range of restorations, dental materials, and equipment; and surgical intervention only when required and only after disease has been controlled. This second in a series of 2 articles describes direct restorative strategies to address the challenges of geriatric caries management, including choice of material, placement of glass ionomers, sandwich technique, techniques for the management of erosion and abrasion, tunnel and slot preparations, techniques for “wet” subgingival environments, vital pulp therapy and geriatric atraumatic restorative technique.


MeSH Key Words: dental bonding; dental caries/prevention & control; dentistry, operative/methods; glass ionomer cements/therapeutic use
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