This blog post is addressed solely to dental professionals.
It has been well over year since dental professionals in Canada have been able to purchase and integrate the use of Advantage Arrest into their practice. This Health Canada approved treatment to arrest dental decay is viewed as extremely cost-effective, non-invasive, and safe. The benefits of SDF have been widely recognized by dental professionals around the world for decades. Countries such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China and Japan, and more recently the United States have been using 38% SDF to arrest early childhood caries (Gao, Zhao, Hiraishi, Dunangthip, Mei, Lo & Chu, 2016).
As a dental hygienist with public health experience the approval of this chair-side treatment to arrest decay in both primary and permanent teeth, was something I knew was going to transform the path of preventative dentistry. Canadians have long been awaiting a treatment option for dental caries that can be used as an interim solution during challenging situations where traditional treatment may be delayed or avoided. The amount of literature on SDF has only begun to surface, as it’s an area of dentistry that is showing exceptional growth in the level of future research funding.
Over the last several months I have been privileged to hear dental professional’s perspectives on the use of Advantage Arrest, and the impact it’s made on their practice over the last year. A critical theme that continually comes up during discussions with dental professionals is the acknowledgment that Advantage Arrest has changed their assessment and treatment planning stage, because they now have an option to present clients and families when there is financial hardship, anxiety and/or compliance issues, or access to care limitations.
Current literature also appears to share similar views on how this unique treatment option is changing the options that are available to clients. A common question that arises with dentists and hygienists is, “what is the frequency of re-application for SDF”? Current literature has highlighted that the more frequent SDF is applied the greater effect on sustaining the arresting process (Gao et al., 2016). However, recent recommendations are targeting bi-annually if lesions are not resorted for the re-application of SDF (Crystal, Marghalani, Ureles, Wright, Sulyanto, Divaris, Fontana & Graham, 2017).
In summary, Advantage Arrest is a treatment approach that has changed how dental professionals manage dental caries and provides options for those that are not able to access care, afford care, or when the safety of traditional treatment is questioned for young children or those with special health care needs. The benefits are clear, and the use of this product is making an impact on reducing the need to sedate clients and leading to less invasive treatment plans when used at the time of assessment, until the timing for traditional treatment is more favourable.