During a discussion with my fellow colleagues about implantology, I was asked if I supported the claim that “implantology is the future of dentistry.” My answer was “NO… the future of dentistry is not implantology, it’s preventive care.” I love implantology, don’t get me wrong, but no other dental specialization is the future of dentistry, not endodontics, not prosthodontics, etc. The future lies in having people go throughout their whole lives without ever getting a cavity. I truly believe this is possible. We are now doing more invasive procedures than ever before and this should not be the case.
I had the opportunity of developing a preventive dental care program about 17 years ago in a community where the targeted population was kids aged 5-8 years old. These kids had no past history of cavities or restorations. After the program–which lasted for 8 years–all of the kids, once in high school, had 0% incidence of cavities and were not in need of any restorations. The program’s success was due to the amazing efforts of an effective educational campaign that was formed with the help of the government, dental schools, private companies and with the cooperation of the kids’ parents. Today, we can expand this success of preventive care not just to a community, but nationwide. To do so, we need the government, educational institutions, family and professionals in the dental field to work together to create preventive dental care campaigns that will educate people about the crucial importance of dental health.