Author(s): Kidd EA
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Abstract The metabolic activity in dental plaque, the biofilm at the tooth surface, is the driving force behind any loss of mineral from the tooth or cavity surface. The symptoms of the process (the lesion) reflect this activity and can be modified by altering the biofilm, most conveniently by disturbing it by brushing with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. The role of operative dentistry in caries management is to restore the integrity of the tooth surface so that the patient can clean. Thus, the question, 'how clean must a cavity be before restoration?' may be irrelevant. There is little evidence that infected dentine must be removed prior to sealing the tooth. Leaving infected dentine does not seem to result in caries progression, pulpitis or pulp death. However, some of the bacteria survive. What is their fate and if they are not damaging, why is this?
This article was published in Caries Res
and referenced in Dentistry