Minimally invasive solutions for root caries in older patients

Minimally invasive solutions for root caries in older patients

Kent Express Dental Supplies explains how conditions such as root caries and dry mouth can be addressed in older patients.

As the population of the UK is living longer, the absolute and relative numbers of older people retaining their natural teeth is on the rise. This means that conditions such as root caries and dry mouth will become more prevalent. The provision of patient-centred, minimally invasive treatment plans using only the most suitable materials is therefore essential for restoring and maintaining dentition.

Why are older adults susceptible to root caries?

There are many physical changes that can come with ageing that make older people at greater risk of demineralisation and root caries.

These include:

  • Reduced saliva flow
  • Reduction in fine motor skills
  • Cognitive decline
  • Less mobility
  • Changes in diet
  • General oral heath pathologies that come with a risk of comorbidities.

What’s the solution?

Root caries in older patients should be approached holistically. This can be achieved with a treatment plan that identifies the risk factors, prevents and protects, treats and controls, and recalls if necessary.

Kent Express Dental Supplies, in partnership with GC, has an all-encompassing range of restorative and preventative materials. They deliver proven results to help you ensure that the population is not just living longer, but living longer with greater oral health.


GC Tri Plaque ID Gel

Tri Plaque ID Gel can not only differentiate between old and new plaque in a few easy steps but can also highlight exactly where the bacteria are most active by disclosing the acidic pH.

With this product, caries risk assessment can be done within a few minutes.

Identification tools like this can help to motivate older patients. They give them or their carers straightforward and objective feedback to optimise their brushing technique.

Protect and prevent

MI Paste Plus and MI Varnish

The presence of fluoride and amorphous calcium phosphate in the saliva creates a favourable environment for tissue remineralisation.

Topical fluoride should be used at home and be supplemented with regular professional application of fluoride varnish. Adjunctive use of bio-available calcium phosphates favours tooth repair and has shown impressive results in reducing hypersensitivity.

MI Paste Plus contains Recaldent (bio-available amorphous calcium phosphate) as well as fluoride (900 ppm). It can be used overnight to enhance tooth repair and reduce hypersensitivity. Five flavours are available to increase patient acceptance.

MI Varnish contains 22600 ppm fluoride as well as Recaldent and is intended for in-office application. It adheres quickly to the teeth, without clumping and serves as a depot for minerals and fluoride, necessary to maintain or remedy the tooth integrity.

When Recaldent encounters fluoride, it stabilises the fluoride ions to create the ideal source for building the more acid-resistant fluorapatite.

GC Dry Mouth Gel

Dry Mouth Gel is a sugar-free product that gives long-lasting comfort and soothes symptoms of oral dryness. Uniquely, unlike most saliva substitutes, it has a neutral pH, preserving the oral pH within the safe range to prevent demineralisation. It is also colourless and comes in various flavours for increased patient tolerance.

Use Dry Mouth Gel for relief during the day. For nighttime prevention, MI Paste Plus is recommended to provide additional protection against caries, promote remineralisation and prevent and relieve hypersensitivity from exposed roots.

Dry Mouth gel does not interfere with the effectiveness of Recaldent or fluoride, so they can safely complement each other.


Fuji TRIAGE, a fluid glass ionomer, will help to protect the surface against caries formation and hypersensitivity.

As well as elderly patients developing caries, it is ideal for children with fragile, erupting teeth and any adults seeking immediate relief from sensitive teeth.

Treat and control

Fuji II LC

Fuji II LC is indicated for any case where speed and ease of use are priorities. This might be the case in patients who cannot cooperate well, lacking the necessary cognitive or physical abilities to fully cooperate.

It provides all the advantages of a conventional glass ionomer, plus important advances like dual curing, immediate finishing and excellent aesthetics.

With its time-saving technique, it is an ideal solution for many indications. Fuji II LC prevents marginal leakage, eliminates sensitivity and gives protection in high-risk patients.


EQUIA Forte HT, a glass hybrid restorative, has a pleasant consistency to pack and contour.

Its ease of placement is especially convenient when treating root caries because of the moisture tolerance and the speed of treatment. It can even be sculpted simply by using a finger.

Through ion exchange, these restorations stimulate tooth remineralisation and prevent demineralisation, making them a great choice for treating active lesions.

In the case of a highly dependent patient who can’t come to the dental practice or in any other situation where the use of rotary instruments is not an option, powder/liquid versions are available to work in the absence of a capsule mixer.


It is important to adapt the treatment of older patients to their individual needs and conditions. A follow-up plan that adjusts to response to treatment and caries risk is essential.

Periodic risk assessment should be routine for all patients. Preventive measures for root caries might be considered to have a better long-term prognosis than restorative treatments. However, cavitated root caries are less likely to reverse from active to inactive status compared to non-cavitated lesions, so restoration is required in this case.

All the products featured in this article are available for free next working day delivery at Kent Express. Click here to shop now.

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