The Hall Technique and 3M – managing carious molars in children
A spokesperson from 3M discusses the Hall Technique and the use of 3M Stainless Steel Crowns for Primary Molars
Statistics surrounding childhood tooth decay are increasingly worrying. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, figures released by Public Health England suggested that almost 25% of five-year olds in the UK had dental decay. During the pandemic, barriers to care were put in place that are likely to have aggravated the situation further.
News reports have revealed that the number of children who attended dental appointments fell by 50% during the first year of the pandemic, meaning that in total two thirds of the UK child population (those aged under 16) did not see an NHS dentist at all during 2020.
Although there are currently no concrete figures available on how this has affected levels of childhood tooth decay, it’s safe to say that the number of children suffering is likely to have increased. Prevention, as ever, is key, but with more children presenting with caries, it’s best to become acquainted with every available option to help treat these cases.
Paediatric dentistry comes with a number of hurdles that need to be overcome in order to provide the best treatment possible. Carious teeth are particularly problematic, as heavy restoration of these would traditionally involve invasive removal of decayed material and administration of anaesthetic. But what if there were a way to reliably overcome these barriers?
Introducing the Hall Technique
Preformed Metal Crowns (PMCs), have been used in paediatric dentistry since the 1950s but are not widely in used in primary care at this time. This is generally because placement of these restorations has involved the use of general anaesthetic, extensive removal of decayed tooth matter, and the potential to damage the adjacent teeth during placement. PMCs currently make up only 1% of restorations provided for children.
However, the Hall Technique – a proven non-invasive method specifically developed to treat carious primary molars in children – involves the placement of a preformed metal crown over the affected tooth without general anaesthesia, caries removal, or tooth preparation of any kind.
The vast majority of dental treatments advocate the removal of caries-affected tooth structure. However, what many treatment modalities don’t consider is the unique nature of caries and plaque and how different environments can impact caries progression. Studies have shown the Hall Technique to be an effective treatment choice that essentially seals caries within the tooth, isolating the decay from outside influences such as saliva, sugar and other catalysts that would further activate their development.
As with all treatment methods, the Hall Technique requires careful case selection. The risks for this method are similar to those incurred by conventional restoration techniques, and may include pain, major failures such as pulpitis and abscess and minor failures such as reversible pulpitis, lost crown and secondary caries formation.
And yet a study that assessed 132 children, some of whom received the Hall Technique and others who received conventional restorations , suggested that the former proved to be a more effective treatment choice. In this sample, 11 children who received conventional treatment were left with pain, compared with only one who received the Hall Technique.
The study found 15 major failures with conventional treatment, two with the Hall Technique and 50 minor failures with conventional treatment compared with five using the Hall Technique. In light of this, it’s clear that the Hall Technique is a viable treatment choice in paediatric dentistry. Training in this technique would be essential, as is ensuring that you use the right products to help support the delivery of reliable outcomes.
3M Stainless Steel Crowns for Primary Molars  have been especially created for convenient care. Pre-trimmed, belled and crimped for fast and easy placement, they accurately echo the anatomy of natural primary molars for better fit and performance*.
Natalie Bradley, a specialist registrar in special care dentistry who hosts sessions regarding the Hall Technique adds: “3M Stainless Steel Crowns for Primary Molars are the gold standard in managing caries in the primary dentition.
“They are evidence-based to have better clinical results than conventional filling materials in children when used in the Hall Technique, and parents and children prefer them. Using them in the Hall Technique is a simple and effective way for general practitioners, not just specialists, to achieve the best clinical outcomes.”
With childhood tooth decay levels remaining high, it’s important to have an effective repertoire of skills to help combat the situation. The Hall Technique is just one solution, but it is a proven method that could make all the difference for this vulnerable patient group.
1] NHS. The Hall Technique – A Child Centred Approach To Managing The Carious Primary Molar. Link: https://heeoe.hee.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/1311845532_nqvh_the_hall_technique_manual.pdf [Last accessed October 21].
2] For more information, call 0845 873 4066 or visit www.3m.co.uk/Dental
*3M Internal Data. 3M is a trademark of the 3M Company