Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth and teeth clean to prevent dental problems, especially the common dental caries and gingivitis, and bad breath. There are oral pathologic conditions in which a good oral hygiene is required for healing and regeneration of the oral tissues. These conditions included gingivitis, periodontitis, dental traumas such as subluxation, oral cysts, and after wisdom tooth extraction.
Teeth cleaning is the removal of dental plaque and tartar from teeth to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Severe gum disease causes at least one-third of adult tooth loss.
Tooth decay is the most common global disease affecting every family. Over 80% of cavities occur inside pits and fissures on chewing surfaces where brushing cannot reach food left trapped after every meal or snack and saliva or fluoride have no access to neutralise acid and remineralise demineralised tooth, unlike easy-to-reach surfaces, where few cavities occur.
Dentists are now carrying out fewer fillings, radiographs and crowns in a typical course of treatment than they did three years ago, suggests a report published by The Information Centre for health and social care (The IC).
The report, Dental Treatment Band Analysis, England 2007, provides an early indication that the care patients receive from their dentists has changed since 2003/04. Fundamental reforms to the dental system were launched in April 2006.
The interim study compares courses of treatment between April and July 2007 (the first four months of the second year since the new contractual arrangements came into effect) with equivalent information for 2003/04. The year 2003/04 was chosen for comparison because it was last period in which financial processes and patient care were stable before the widespread transfer from General Dental Services (GDS) to Personal Dental Services (PDS) from 2004/05 to 2005/06. This was then followed by fundamental reforms to the dental system in April 2006.
The new contractual arrangements introduced a simplified system for paying dentists. Before, dentists were paid for individual treatment items. Under the new system, they are now paid for an entire course of treatment (CoT) - with courses of treatment divided into four bands:
Band 1 CoTs cover check-ups and simple treatments such as examinations and radiographs.
Band 2 CoTs cover mid-range treatments such as fillings, extractions and root-canal work.
Band 3 CoTs cover complex treatments such as veneers, crowns and dentures.
Band 1 urgent CoTs cover treatment for patients requiring immediate attention, including fillings and extractions.