What are tooth caries?

Dental caries is a chronic destructive process of the hard tissues of the tooth, without inflammatory character, producing necrosis and their destruction, followed by coronary or root cavitation. The evolution of caries can begin at the surface of the tooth or directly from the inside.

What are retentive areas and how do they influence the appearance of cavities?

Retentive areas are dental zones where foods can not be “washed away” by saliva. Here food remains and produces an acid pH. With time, increased acidity produces enamel demineralisation that eventually leads to dental cavities. Retentive areas occur when there are teeth too close to each other or when some fillings were made inappropriately (fillings made with material in excess that do not achieve a proper marginal closure with neighboring teeth).

Why should we treat tooth decay at an early stage?

Tooth decay is point zero for tooth loss. It all starts in the enamel (the hard, outer layer of the tooth). When left untreated dental decay grows in size and it approaches the dental pulp (nerve). This is when pain begins to appear. At this stage, if the tooth cannot be saved performing endodontic treatment, it has to be removed by dental extraction. That’s why as soon as a patient intervenes in having his or her tooth decay dealt with as better.

Treatment of dental caries at Smart Dental clinic

As stated above an early treatment for dental caries is not only recommended but it is also less expensive and less time consuming not to mention that it may help avoid pain. Cavity treatment means to clean all the affected dental tissue and cover it with the same color composite materials or inlay (depending on the stage of caries). At our clinic we use dam insulation for this type of treatment also. This insulation keeps saliva away while performing treatment, thus maintaining the adhesion properties of the composite material, adhesion that is so much needed for a long lasting filling.

When more than 40% of the coronary volume is lost then an inlay is used to rebuild the tooth. Using inlay is much better than using filling for this type of case due to its marginal closure that restores the original stability of the tooth. If the coronary damage is even larger, we will apply a coating crown, the restoration by dental filling not being able to ensure resistance and stability over time. Next stage would be when pulp is affected and endodontic treatment is needed to reinforce root stability.

After eating, food remains in the oral cavity. Being on the teeth, they produce an acidic pH. Saliva has the role of neutralizing the acidic pH, but if we always take snacks between meals, the pH will not be able to be kept under control, resulting in an acidic pH, which leads to the formation of cavities.

It is necessary to brush our teeth at least two times a day in the mornings and in the evenings. A session of brushing should last for at least 3 to 4 minutes. The brushing technique matters a lot: the movement of the toothbrush should always be done from the gum to the tooth (from red to white).

Yes. Precisely because only with dental floss we manage to remove food debris between the teeth and retentive areas, thus preventing the appearance of acidic pH and the formation of cavities.

A filling must be done correctly: having a sealed marginal closure with a suitable point of contact (no excess allowed) with the neighboring tooth. The average life of a filling in these conditions is about 5 years. Oral hygiene is the one who has the greatest impact in preserving a filling for as long as possible. The better oral hygiene the longer the life of a filling.

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