International dental experts have backed the aims of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (ACFF) in calling for a new pan-European approach to the recording, classification and management of caries. The experts acknowledged that current epidemiological systems fail to consistently assess the caries situation across Europe and that an improved approach will be needed, if we are to understand the true caries prevalence, distribution and inequalities across Europe. This cognition will help in developing and monitoring more efficient measures to prevent cavities in order to achieve the ACFF’s goal of a cavity-free future for all children born in 2026 and thereafter.
Nearly 200 leading dental professionals, researchers and academics at this yea
r’s conference of the European Organisation for Caries Research (ORCA) agreed on a set of draft resolutions to achieve this common goal, after attending an all-day pre-conference symposium shining a spotlight on caries epidemiology and surveillance, which was jointly organised by the Pan-European Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (ACFF Europe), ORCA, the European Association for Dental Public Health (EADPH) and the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe (PBOHE).
The resolutions given unanimous agreement include the following:
- To establish a common and consistent way of sampling, training and reporting National Surveys or Programmes, to allow more valid and up to date comparisons between countries to be made
- A caries reporting standards document should be produced
- An acknowledgement of the need for data differentiating early from advanced caries lesions (for example using ICDAS methodology)
- A commitment to increase the number of age groups sampled across the lifespan to obtain a fuller picture of caries from birth to old age.