Spring 2019

Promoting Prevention

Andrea Zandona becomes the new chair of comprehensive care.

Andrea Zandona. Photo: Courtesy Tufts Student Hispanic Dental Association

Andrea Zandona believes in diagnosing, and treating, dental disease early on. During her training, her attention was captured by the idea of early caries detection, and that has since become her research focus. She hopes to spread the gospel of prevention widely among the next generation of oral-health professionals as the new chair of the School of Dental Medicine’s department of comprehensive care. “Because it is such a large department,” she said, “any changes we implement will have a significant impact on clinical care.”

Zandona, who assumed her duties at Tufts in November 2018, was previously an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry. Originally from Curitiba, Brazil, she received her dental degree from Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Parana. She has a master’s degree in dental sciences in operative dentistry and a Ph.D. in dental sciences from Indiana University. She was on the faculty at Indiana University School of Dentistry from 1998 to 2013, directing the graduate residency program in preventive dentistry.

Zandona has published and lectured widely on prevention and management of dental caries. She is vice president of the CAMBRA (caries management by risk assessment) Coalition and has served on the International Caries Detection and Assessment System Foundation Committee and the European Organization of Caries Research advisory board, among many other professional organizations.

Traditionally, Zandona said, the dental profession had not put enough emphasis on prevention, though that is beginning to shift. “There is a movement, and quite a bit of effort on different fronts, to make sure dentists are being more preventive-oriented,” she said. She supports use of risk assessment and management, and a focus on smaller restorative procedures to conserve tooth structure. “We should be trying to avoid placing patients in the cycle of restorative care, where the first filling is replaced by the next filling, always increasing in size.”

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