In this blog entry Dr Darryl Marsh writes…
There is now available a series of tests which can identify your child’s risk of getting tooth cavities at an early age. This is done by checking:
Dentists have known for some time that dental decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth, but decay is also greatly affected by carbohydrates (sugars) in the diet and the protective effect of saliva.
These tests, combined with a thorough examination of the teeth as well as x-rays, then allow the dentist to determine an effective and simple plan to prevent decay for each individual patient. The testing procedure involves taking samples of the saliva flow analysis as well as a thorough history of medications taken and eating patterns.
This would commonly take fifteen to twenty minutes. Some test results are available immediately, and results take up to forty-eight hours. For patients whose decay risk is high, further testing is required. The cost for this testing procedure would commonly be $20 to $65 depending on the testing required.
If the child has a moderate to high risk of decay, or if weakened enamel areas of ‘early decay’ spots are detected, steps can be taken to prevent cavities forming.
The preventative measures involved are a combination of treatments performed by the dentist, including: