The importance of this program is based in the development of an innovative and cost-effective intervention program for primary prevention of oral disease, based in light fluorescence diagnostic technology as well as laser and traditional therapy.
This program will provide preventive dental care to sixty 3-5 yr. old children at the NSU Mailman Segal Institute and at the Jack and Jill Child Development Center. These children will be examined and caries risk determined according to the Tinanoff protocol and Quantitative Light Fluorescence (QLF) measurements. Prevention will be taught to parents so that good home care is implemented. Early caries diagnosis will be possible with the use of the QLF, in addition to bacterial cultures and other traditional parameters. The QLF allows for demineralized enamel to be diagnosed when it is as little as 25 microns in depth. This is well before demineralized enamel visually appears as a white spot lesion, the current earliest sign of demineralization. By diagnosing enamel demineralization this early, intervention can be readily provided, making the intervention cost effective. The study sample will be divided into two groups, Group I or control -traditional oral hygiene-, Group II -photoactivated disinfection (PAD). The PAD therapy has proven to be effective at lowering cariogenic bacteria. This high intensity diode laser reaches the targeted bacteria through a specific photosensitizer; production of singlet oxygen species disrupts the membrane wall causing cell death. Early intervention comparisons will be performed at each 3-month interval between and within groups and between initial and final measurements.
Seminars and clinical experiences in Infant Oral Health will be provided to dental students, their knowledge will be evaluated for appropriate prevention and interception.