While cavities are most common in children, they can be a problem for adults as well. Cavities form as tooth enamel wears away due to a build up of plaque and bacteria. There are many ways to prevent cavities from forming, including:
- Regular visits to the dentist for professional cleaning
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing once a day
- Eating a healthy diet, limiting sugary snacks and sodas
Dentistry for Drill-free Cavity Fillings
Thanks to the diligent work of material scientists across the world, the quality of composite materials has made restorations more predictable and long-lasting than ever. But wouldn’t it be nice if cavities can be fixed without drilling and filling?
A lot of attention has been paid recently to the use of bioactive particles to fill microscopic holes that are believed to be one cause of tooth sensitivity. These particles, in addition to fluoride, have been used in pastes to harden teeth and fill the naturally-occuring microscopic holes and therefore reduce tooth sensitivity. Evidence suggests that these bioactive particles have the potential to reverse cavities.
Most cavities start in the outer layer of the tooth, called the enamel. As acid produced by bacteria break down the mineral content of the enamel, a small cavity forms. The cavity increases in size when bacteria continue to produce acid and the mineral content continues to be broken down. Eventually the cavity reaches the inner layer of the tooth, called the dentin. At this point, the cavity must be removed and filled. But if the cavity is caught in its earliest stages (called an incipiency or incipient decay) during a routine checkup, it is possible that the application of a paste or gel containing bioactive glass particles can actually reverse the decay process and restore the tooth to health without the need for drilling and filling.
While these products are still in development, they offer the potential to reduce overall dental healthcare costs for many patients across the globe. Of course the success of such therapy still depends on routine cleanings, examinations, and radiographs in order to catch the decay in its early stages. Your team at Valley Dental Health is always exploring less invasive ways to restore your smile to health and function. Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding your dental health.