Conservative Dentistry

Conservative dentistry is one of the fundamental disciplines in dental medicine. It concerns both defects of teeth and their corrective treatment (fillings, root canal fillings). Further included are preventatives in the format of dental sealants and promotion of oral hygiene in general. The goal of conservative dentistry is to preserve teeth in living and healthy condition because there is nothing like natural teeth that last through long years.

Conservative Dentistry

Incipient carious lesions are noticed in the tooth enamel surface. The decay can expand into the underlying dentin layer to affect even the dental pulp if not dealt with in a timely manner. (Dental pulp is the central part of a tooth made up of blood vessels and nerves). Unfortunately Dental cavities cannot be cured. The only method available to address caries when diagnosed is its removal along with the infected part of the tooth and inhibit its further spreading. In prevention of caries the efficiency of good dental hygiene ranks as one of the highest. The practice of dental hygiene must include special attention paid to the interdental spaces known as the traditionally potential caries initiator.

At its earliest stage, dental caries affects enamel only but is likely to advance deeper into the tooth´s structure damaging the denting. When its progress reaches the dental pulp, the tooth´s root system becomes destructed. This condition calls for endodontic treatment. The earliest sign of a carious condition onset is the appearance of chalky white demineralized spots on the surface of a tooth. These are followed by changes of the enamel colour turning dark at a later stage. Tooth cavities develop ultimately. At its most advanced stage, the caries-related destruction may result into a total loss of the tooth.

Depending on the site of occurrence and how severe nature of the caries is, a variety of methods can be considered to restore funcionality of the tooth. Situation permitting, the dentist will use dental drill to remove the infection. Caries located deep in the structure and near the tooth nerve will often make other adjuvant interventions necessary such as nerve removal and root canal filling

Filling Materials

Most frequently used filling materials:

Amalgam – the most traditional filling material (in use for over 100 years). Represents an excellent filling alternative used in posterior teeth. Applied correctly, the dental amalgam forms a solid filling and provides a high-quality interface between the filling and the tooth. The setbacks of this material: inferior esthetic appeal (dark colour of the filling) and its need for cone-shaped cavity that facilitates its fixation inside the tooth. This requires drilling out an increased amount of the tooth structure.
Composite Fillings – application proceeds in the thin layering and UV light curing of the composite. Alternatively, the applied composite layers cure exposed to the air (aided by a blend of two components). This type of filling allows a smoother tooth preparation in which the damaged tissue only is removed. This helps to avoid adverse effect on the healthy tissue parts. The patient´s ability to eat shortly after the treatment completion stands out as yet another asset.
When applying the composite material, the dentist must make sure the areas to receive the filling are absolutely dry. There is no better alternative to composites when used in front teeth regions which become in a smile or for repairs of tooth enamel damaged accidentally. This said, they represent a solution with the attributes of superior esthetic and durability criteria. There is no substitute for this method in dental restorations in which the aspect of smile is accentuated.
GlassIonomer Cements – their dominant value consists in excellent tooth-bonding property. This comes together with their outstanding prophylactic effect based on the fluoride release (fluoride ions) which can induce remineralization. The application is not conditioned by absolutely dry tooth surfaces. This property singles the material out as right to address problems in regions where dry conditions cannot be guaranteed such as the tooth neck. They prove good in treatments of deep tooth decay.

Root Canal Treatment - Endodontics

The tooth pulp is an issue hosting blood vessels and nerves. It is located inside the tooth and the root canals. It keeps the tooth vital and sensitive. Most usually, the tooth pulp is damaged by decay. If the tooth pulp develops such damage, the condition is manifested by a painful inflammation. In certain situations the pulp may degenerate in a painless process yet trigger off an inflammatory state eventually. The objective of the root canal therapy is a painless removal of the damaged tooth pulp and subsequent root canal filling. In the procedure, the surgeon uses a range of up-to-date diagnostic tools assisting classification of the shape and the depth plus the methods of cleaning, curing and filling of the root canal.

Dental Sealants

Broken chewing surfaces of the back teeth have pits and fissures and can be porous. These conditions are convenient for the deposit of food particles and invite decay to develop. It is the application of dental sealants to the said grooves that serves as prevention of such occurrence.

The process of the sealant application consists in cleaning of the tooth using a special paste, painting of the sealant resin, its hardening and localized fluoridation of the tooth surface. The tooth treated this way has a smooth surface free of deep pits in which food remains may deposit. This procedure represents the elementary principle of preventive protection from decay. Dentists advocate dental sealant application preferrably in children means to deciduous teeth and the first freshly erupted molars at the age of 6. The primary decay infection of the child´s teeth can be controlled this way just like its subsequent spreading to permanent teeth. The dental sealant application is suitable for adults as well. Presently, a common type of treatment in conservative dentistry. The protective effect lasts over the lifespan of 3 to 5 years before it wears off. The dental sealant technique represents the most budget-friendly tooth decay prevention.