“We think it’s a very safe product,” Dr. Peter Azar of the New Jersey Dental Association told ABC News.
“We’ve had a very, very good response.
We’ve had people who’ve come to us for advice about the vaccine and have gone on to have more successful cases than the general population.”
Azar, who heads the NJDCA’s Vaccine Safety Advisory Committee, added that the new vaccine had the potential to be an effective treatment for some people, but noted that some patients might need to take a more active approach to prevent dental caries and other dental problems.
“We need to encourage people to take the vaccine,” he said.
“That’s what’s really important.”
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the nation’s leading public-health agency, is developing a clinical trial to assess the efficacy of the vaccine in adults, the most common age group.
The trial, scheduled to begin in 2018, is designed to assess whether the vaccine is safe and effective in people who have received dental caried lesions.
It would follow up with a follow-up study that would test whether the disease is reversed in adults who have not received the vaccine.
“This vaccine is so safe and so effective, it’s important to make sure that everyone in the population who is receiving it gets the full dose,” said Dr. Richard Lippert, director of the Division of Oral Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“What we’re really looking at here is whether the person who gets this vaccine has any of these caries-related side effects, and if they do, then we want to know whether those caries are reversible.”
The FDA has approved the vaccine for adults age 21 and older, as well as those with certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
The agency’s announcement about the study comes as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has begun an extensive review of the efficacy and safety of the vaccines, including looking at whether the new vaccines have any side effects.
The FDA is expected to release a new statement on the study in the coming weeks, and it is unclear if the agency will also release a statement about the results of that review.ABC News’ Chris Anderson contributed to this report.