Monday 23 December 2013 3:44pm
Congratulations to the SJWRI's Dr Lyndie Foster Page, Dorothy Boyd, Professor Murray Thomson, Dr Jonathan Broadbent and Associate Professor Warwick Duncan on their success in being awarded a Cure Kids Research Grant for their proposal entitled "Transform a tooth with a 'transformer tooth.' A novel approach for child oral health." Dr Foster Page and team were awarded $98,510 (plus GST) over three years, commencing 2014. The proposed project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a new method to arrest dental caries in the primary teeth of children.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease affecting children worldwide. Dr Foster Page and team have been investigating the application of a promising new approach, the Hall technique, to arrest dental decay in primary teeth. This involves placing a stainless steel crown over a baby molar tooth to seal the decay in, rather than the conventional method of removing the decay with a drill and then placing a filling. Starved of nutrients, the decay then stops or slows down. The crown remains in place until the tooth falls out naturally around age 10.
A feasibility study conducted by Dr Foster Page and Ms Boyd in 2011-12, funded by the Health Research Council of NZ, demonstrated the potential of this approach. 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. The study also indicated that children treated via the Hall technique - which doesn't require anaesthetic, takes less time and is less invasive - reported less dental anxiety than those who had received conventional care.
In their three-year Cure Kids proposal, Dr Foster Page and team intend to build on the results of their feasibility study by performing a randomised clinical trial (RCT) to systematically assess the efficiency and performance of the Hall technique in the NZ dental care environment, compared with the existing approach.
If this technique is found to be a suitable alternative to traditional care, it has the potential to revolutionise dental care for children, and will provide better health outcomes for children with caries.
Drill-free dentistry eases children's anxiety (Otago Daily Times, 30 Jan 2013)