12th Congress of the European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry

12th Congress of the European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry

Jun 5-8, 2014 Sopot, Poland

Experts in paediatric dentistry from all parts of the world presented state-of-the-art treatment concepts for enhanced oral care in children.

12th Congress of the European Academy of Paediatric DentistryDr. Peter J. Gregory, Prof. Dr. Roland Frankenberger, Prof. Dr. Jack Toumba and the chairmen Prof. Dr. Dr. Monty Duggal (University of Leeds, UK) and Prof. Dr. Norbert Krämer (University of Gießen, Germany).

Paediatric patients have special needs regarding dental treatment. Challenges for the dental practitioner lie e.g. in their specific behaviour and perception of children. Since the structure of primary teeth is unlike that of the permanent dentition and children are unable to sit still for a longer time, individual treatment concepts are required. Specific attention must be paid to children with pre-existing conditions. And as it is important to start with preventive measures very early in life, programmes are needed that help addressing all children and their families independent of their social status.

Pain management

During a pre-congress course organized by 3M ESPE, a group of speakers from European universities focused on pain management in children with pre-existing diseases. It was revealed that it is crucial to identify any existing condition. Only then may the required dental treatment be planned. Pain control is one decisive element in this context. The most suitable method depends on the physical and psychic condition of the child, the invasiveness of the planned treatment and its duration.

Treatment of children with autism

A patient group that is in need of specific care is that of children with autism spectrum disorder. Three speakers, one of them being the mother of a child with Asperger’s syndrome, demonstrated different strategies to cope with these children. For example, a repeated sequence of actions may be helpful to make them familiar with what will happen in the dental chair. It was also recommended to reward them regularly to prevent stress.

Prevention

Prevention should start early in life to be effective. During the congress, it became evident that the specific measures and prevention intervals should be selected depending on the age of the child and the individual caries risk. The children affected most severely by early childhood caries are usually from low-income, socially deprived families. To improve the situation for those high-risk groups, community- or school-based oral health programmes should be implemented.

Early identification of MIH

Molar incisor hypomineralization is a developmental condition that needs special attention. It causes enamel defects in the permanent dentition, often occurring in first molars and incisors. To avoid a breakdown of the tooth structure, early diagnosis is extremely important. The speakers recommended the use of predictive biomarkers to guide both preventive and therapeutic measures. The use of remineralizing agents may help prevent maturation of the defects.

Restorative treatment

Restorative treatment in children has to be quick, effective and adapted to the specific requirements of the primary or permanent dentition. In the primary dentition, conventional composite materials or glass ionomer filling materials may be used. With regard to bonding, the self-etch technique is preferable when the main part of the surface consists of primary dentin. For full coverage restorations, the use of stainless steel crowns is recommended in the posterior area. Specific strip crown forms are available for complex composite restorations in the incisor region.

During the congress, it became clear that treatment concepts adjusted to the specific needs of children are already available. However, it is important to spread the knowledge about these techniques, develop guidelines to support dental practitioners and implement community-based programmes. In this way, it will be possible to further enhance the oral health of children, including high-risk groups.

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