Here at Engadget, we're all for preventive medicine. In fact, we're all about preventive anything, unless it's stopping us from getting our hands on the latest gear. Anyway, it turns out that there's a fairly treatable dental disorder called "early childhood dental caries," known in the biz as ECC. Sometimes when babies or toddlers go to sleep with a bottle of juice in their mouth, the sugars from the juice can cause serious dental problems, including tooth decay, sometimes leading to extraction. Ouch. Or to put it in terms that will make your wallet say "ow," annual treatment costs in the community of Rochester, NY, a town of over 200,000, run into the nabe of $1 million. Fortunately for them (and hopefully soon, the rest of us), University of Rochester Medical Center dental researchers have come up with a way of severly reducing this problem before it starts. By taking digital pictures of these tykes' teeth at health clinics and then zipping them off to pediatric dentists at the Eastman Dental Center across town, the problem can be spotted before it gets out of control. There, dentists check out the photos, can diagnose ECC and recommend treatment as needed. If only all dentistry was this easy. But seriously folks, if you really want to save money, try outsourcing your dental photography to India.

[Via medGadget]