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The Prospect of a Cavity-Free Future with Dr. Nigel Pitts


Dr. Nigel Pitts spoke with Dr. John O’Keefe about the prospect of a cavity free future, a concept he presented to the Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry. Highlights The concept of a cavity-free future is pivotal to dentistry. There is evidence caries can be prevented by improving and changing what dental professionals can do. Much emphasis has been placed on early detection of caries using clinical detection, assessment and diagnostic treatment aids. Caries management is important from infancy through to adulthood/geriatric population. The ICDAS system stages dental caries. The goals of caries management are:

  • Prevent new lesions from appearing.
  • Prevent existing limited lesions from advancing.
  • Intervene with conservative operative care to preserve tooth structure.
  • Manage risk factors and appropriate recall intervals.

Over the last 10-15 years, evidence-based research has shifted the thinking about the point at which carious lesions should be treated or restored. Key Messages

  • Caries is a disease and clinicians now have, at their disposal, various tools to use in the treatment of the disease in its early and later stages.
  • Collaboration with different stakeholders, including medical personnel, public health, and the public in general is essential in helping to manage caries.



  1. Peter Kearney February 22, 2017

    Until sugar consumption is controlled the ‘surgical’ treatment of caries is not going away anytime soon. Particularly with our aging population…

    Regards, Peter Kearney DDS

  2. Larry Flagg March 3, 2017

    This looks exciting. I’ve often thought that a more organized effort can be made to help people with tooth decay and help dentists make better chair-side decisions. The photographs of real teeth in progressive stages of decay were very valuable in themselves. The drawings and sketches dentists rely on for patient education desperately need updating with accurate images of real teeth.


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