Skip to main content

10 December 2021

The ACFF announces a caries focused edition of the British Dental Journal

Published 17 December, 2021.

King’s Professors Nigel Pitts and Avijit Banerjee at the signing of the ACFF UK Chapter declaration in October 2021.

The team at the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future have been working on the creation of a caries-focused special edition of the British Dental Journal (BDJ). This issue, edited by King's Professor Nigel Pitts, will be published by the BDJ on 17th December 2021 and will be available open access at

The caries focused edition brings together a range of papers covering the wider theme of Collaborations around Caries, sharing eight stories from and about our colleagues, supporters, and their collaborators from around the world and their collaborative contributions to advancing understanding in caries and related health policy.

Each paper within the issue was authored by, or alongside, King’s academics and affiliates. The papers aim to highlight ways in which progress is being made in the caries space by the ACFF, which is based within the Centre for Oral, Clinical and Translational Sciences (COCTS) within FoDOCS.

The span of the papers also highlights the diverse range of people and organisations playing their part in the fight to address caries to improve oral and wider health. The issue aims to show how there are still significant opportunities available to build on the work outlined in these stories and to continue to make real and necessary progress towards a cavity-free future.

King’s academic authors for the edition include: Nigel Pitts (Ed), Tim Newton, Avijit Banerjee, Marco Mazevet and Guy Goffin.


The edition opens with the editorial Collaborations around Caries – in order to improve oral health, healthcare and health by ACFF Global Chairman, Nigel Pitts, which introduces the themes and topics that will be further explored in the eight following papers.

Caries and Collaborations in Context, Nigel B Pitts

This paper discusses why individuals and organisations collaborate towards “service to society”/“making a difference”/“making the world a better place” and explains why impactful collaboration is complicated, but highly desirable, and what aspects are needed for it to successful.

Understanding Caries as an “NCD”, Nigel B Pitts, Svante Twetman, Julian Fisher, Philip D Marsh

In this paper, the authors demonstrate the complexity of caries as a disease and how, with the new knowledge gained from scientific research, multiple stakeholders have to adjust their strategies for both prevention and care.

Dental Policy Lab 1 – Towards a Cavity-Free Future, Chris Vernazza, Nigel B Pitts, Catherine Mayne, Marco E Mazevet

Although many dental professionals argue that prevention of oral diseases, including dental caries, will benefit both the patient and public finances, a paradigm shift has yet to happen in most countries. The literature has demonstrated that caries prevention and control is possible, but authorities have yet to implement health systems that allow patients to stay in a good health state. This paper explains what a Policy Lab is how the first ACFF Dental Policy Lab in 2017 sought to identify the main barriers for change and create concreate actions to facilitate a policy shift towards increased resource allocation in prevention.

Dental Policy Lab 2 – Towards Paying for Health in Dentistry, Marco E. Mazevet, Nigel B Pitts, Catherine Mayne

The second Dental Policy Lab focused on the need for a review of dental payment systems and how we can create and implement acceptable prevention-based dental payment systems to achieve and maintain health outcomes.

Dental Policy Lab 3 – Towards Oral and Dental Health through Partnership, Nigel B Pitts, J Tim Newton, Ross Pow, Nicholas Miller, Catherine Mayne

The third Dental Policy Lab delved into how dental and oral health industries could benefit from enabling positive behaviour change in patients and the public, allowing progress towards caries reduction.

From “ICDAS” to “CariesCare International”: the 20-year journey building international consensus to take caries evidence into clinical practice, Nigel B Pitts, Avijit Banerjee, Marco E Mazevet, Guy Goffin, Stefania Martignon

By investigating 20 years of work, this paper explores how it is possible for groups of dental researchers and educators from many countries to collaborate voluntarily to understand the best evidence, harmonise methods and build a consensus approach to clinical diagnosis, prevention and management of caries process.

The Calcivis Story – Enamel Caries Activity Assessment: from Technology to Practice, Nigel B Pitts, Chris Longbottom, Adam Christie, Bruce Vernon, Graham Bailey

This paper explores the 16-year journey of innovation and collaboration to deliver a new technology capable of helping dentists improve patient care through solving an unmet clinical need in assessing the activity of caries lesions in enamel.

New UK Chapter of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future, Nigel B Pitts, Avijit Banerjee

The final paper delves into how the UK is now poised, with the launching of the ACFF’s 29th Chapter, to be able to benefit from the accumulated knowledge of the decades of international work outlined in the other papers of this issue, with the overall aim of improving oral and wider health in the UK.

We would like to thank everyone involved in the creation of this edition of the BDJ and in the projects and initiatives covered by the contents. We encourage you to access the issue following its publication on the 17th December and hope that you find it enjoyable and interesting reading

You can find out more about the ACFF and our work on our website

In this story

Professor Pitts

Dean of Research Impact

Professor Tim Newton

Professor of Psychology as Applied to Dentistry

Professor Banerjee

Professor of Cariology & Operative Dentistry