Is Hall’s Dental Technique The Solution For Children Of Low-Income Families?

A 1997 audit of Scottish dentists revealed that none of them were using preformed dental crowns on children except for one dentist, Apparently, Hall was quietly innovating a system to cap decaying primary molars. Crowns were cemented over them without drilling out the decay, a process that required local anesthesia. Hall’s goal was to starve the bacteria of oxygen instead of getting rid of them.

Nicola Innes, a pediatric dentist at Scotland’s University of Dundee revealed that she has been using Hall’s system for more than 20 years at her dental hospital. Innes and her colleagues are now performing trials of the Hall technique at Tiete, Brazil and generated a 93% success rate.

According to Innes, their patients understand that sealing off bacteria in a decayed tooth tissue can stop the decay from further progressing. Bacteria will not grow if it there is no access to sugar, moisture, oxygen, etc. This is contrary to what dentists have been taught that decay must be removed completely.

Research results from Sudan that were published in journal PLOS One revealed that the first randomized controlled trial of the Hall technique took place in a low-income country where the need for simple and non-invasive techniques is significantly high. The 2-year study of 164 children with ages 5 to 8 revealed that Hall’s technique performs as well as conventional methods. Tooth survival and gum health are the same.

Hall technique is more cost effective at $2.45 and takes only 8 minutes to complete. Less comfortable methods cost $7.81 and takes 8 minutes to perform. Besides that, children are less anxious with the Hall technique and they are proud to show off the dental crowns to their siblings.

Since electricity in Sudan is unreliable, it is important to use dental techniques that do not rely on stable electric supply. Furthermore, paying for a $4 dental procedure in Sudan is a big burden for patients.

When a tooth has weakened due to breakage or decay, the dentist may suggest dental crowns particularly if filling is no longer possible. The dentist will make sure that the dental crown matches the color and appearance of natural teeth so that it will not be noticeable.