A research conducted on ways to tackle tooth decay has found that a technique known as the 'Hall Technique' is the much favoured way of fighting gum disease.
The research revealed that the Hall Technique, which uses preformed metal crowns pushed onto teeth with no dental injections or drilling, is much more favoured by a majority of children, over traditional "drill and fill" methods.
It was found that the technique could slow down tooth decay, or even stop it, when it is sealed into the tooth by the crown.
"There has been a lot of debate in the UK over the best method to tackle tooth decay in children's molars. Preformed metal crowns are not widely used in Scotland as they're not viewed as a realistic option by dentists. We found, however, that almost all the patients, parents and dentists in our study preferred the Hall Technique crowns and also children benefited from them," Dr Nicola Innes, who led the Scottish research team at Dundee Dental Hospital and School, explained.
According to the old ways, dentists would "freeze" a decayed tooth with an injection in the child's gum, and then drill away the decay, and then fill the cavity with a metal filling, a method that was very lengthy and uncomfortable for the child.
With the development of the Hall Technique, fighting tooth decay became easier as the technique used simple methods.
The technique followed a very simple procedure, by sealing the decay in the tooth by the crown, sugars in the diet were unable to reach it and thus the decay is either stopped or slowed down.
A study was conducted where 132 children in Tayside, Scotland, had one decayed tooth filled traditionally, and another decayed tooth managed with the Hall Technique.
It was found that 77pct of the children, 83 pct of carers and 81 pct of dentists preferred the Hall Technique to traditional "drill and fill" methods.
Dentists reported that 89 pct of the children showed no significant signs of discomfort with the Hall Technique, compared with 78 pct for the traditional fillings.
Around one in two children in Scotland has visible tooth decay at the age of 5, and most children have to accept toothache as part of normal everyday life.
Two years after receiving the Hall Technique crown, however, the children's dental health significantly improved, with less pain, abscesses and failed fillings than with the traditional "drill and fill" methods.
"Children, parents and dentists prefer the Hall Technique. It allows dentists to achieve a filling with a high quality seal, which means we can safely leave decay in baby teeth, and not be forced to drill it away. Hall crowns will not suit every child, or every decayed tooth in a child's mouth, but dentists may find it a useful treatment option for managing decay in children's back teeth," Dr Innes concluded.
The research has been published in the online open access journal BMC Oral Health.