IU dental school research will help dentists determine potential cavity sites, offer preventive treatment

Dr. Ferreira Zandona
Dr. Ferreira Zandona

The results of a four-year, $3.4 million National Institutes of Health-funded study led by a researcher at the Indiana University School of Dentistry will help dentists identify which at-risk sites on teeth are likely to become cavities if no preventive action is taken.

Armed with that information, dentists could treat those at-risk sites to at least delay, if not stop, them from turning into cavities. Once a cavity develops and a filling is put in, the tooth enters a repetitive restorative cycle, leading to a cascade of costly restorative treatments.

The results of the study were published in the September 2012 issue of the Journal of Dental Research. The study was led by Andrea Ferreira Zandona, DDS, Ph.D, director of the Graduate Preventive Dentistry Program and the Early Caries Detection and Management Program in the dental school's Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry.

Additional details are available in this Oct. 24, 2012, IU news release.