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Microdentistry And Tooth Decay

November 21, 2015 Andrew 0 Comments

Dentistry and modern science have not been able to find a cure for or prevent tooth decay. Tooth decay (caries) is the most common disease in man, found in millions of people.

Microdentistry is modern technology that gives more treatment options that minimize the removal of healthy tooth structure while treating tooth decay.

Q: How is microdentistry different from traditional dentistry?

A: Microdentistry, or minimally invasive dentistry, is a series of scientific techniques to preserve natural tooth structure. Prevention of decay is the goal.

The use of digital X-rays with physical oral examination using magnification and illumination allow early detection when prevention fails. Remineralization of early decay is possible. Advanced decay needs conservative restorations, not removing any more tooth than necessary to restore the tooth to form and function.

Q: What is tooth decay?

A: Dental decay (caries) is a communicable, infectious disease. Everyone has mouth bacteria that cause caries. These bacteria form a plaque on teeth (sticky bacterial deposits); sugar from the diet is turned into acid by these bacteria, and the acid causes decalcification of the tooth and destroys the tooth enamel, and decay can occur.

Q: What can I do to keep tooth decay from occurring in the future?

A: Prevention is the desired solution. To prevent tooth destruction, you must remove this acidic bacterial plaque biofilm.

This is done by daily brushing and flossing. Brush at least twice a day. Floss once a day. The use of anti-cavity fluoride toothpaste and treatment gels aid in limiting the acid effect on tooth enamel.

Regular dental examinations and professional cleanings remove plaque and calculus (mineralized plaque), administer fluoride treatments and allow for caries to be treated early.

The most important time is at 6 and 12 years old, when the permanent adult molars erupt into the mouths of children.

Dental sealants (plastic protective coverings) can be applied to the biting surfaces of back teeth; these seal the grooves where almost 90 percent of decay occurs, preventing decay from occurring when in place. When decay is found at the time of placing sealants, micro-dental preventative bonded restorations can be placed.

Q: What techniques are parts of minimally invasive dentistry?

A: In addition to sealants:

  • Remineralization can repair enamel damage. Diet needs to be modified; oral home care needs to change. Dental office and home therapeutic agents will include anti-microbial and fluoride rinses, gels, varnishes and pastes (MI Paste, tri-calcium phosphate and sodium fluoride).
  • Hard tissue lasers or air abrasion are used to remove decay where a tooth can’t be remineralized. Laser light or microscopic sand blasting is used instead of a dental drill.
  • Bonded tooth-colored restoration is used to replace the tooth structure lost to decay.
  • Implants to replace missing teeth versus fixed bridgework.
  • Bite splints (night guards) to treat the many people who grind their teeth at night to prevent the serious damage and wear.

Q: Where can I find a minimally invasive dentist?

A: Most dentists use many of these techniques every day in their dental practices; ask your dentist if he or she uses micro-dental techniques.

All dental problems and their treatments have the opportunity to be the least invasive with the use of modern technology.

Dental caries are not completely preventable. No vaccine is available to prevent this common disease. Without a cure, use the modern dental technologies for maximum prevention and limit destruction with early treatment.

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