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Filling Without Drilling

April 15, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 92

When dental amalgam (a mixture of mercury and silver) was the most commonly used material for tooth fillings, a drill had to be used to make a hole in the tooth, remove the bacteria and put the filling in. This hole was generally much larger than the cavity that it was intended to repair.

Cavities don't look like they used to. Because of the use of fluoride, the enamel of the teeth has become stronger, harder and more resistant to the attack of bacteria. However, the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth are not hardened by fluoride because these grooves do not have any enamel in them. The grooves are narrower than a single bristle on a toothbrush, so that regular tooth brushing methods do not successfully clean the bacterial out of these grooves. Over a period of time these grooves become infected with bacteria, which then eat their way toward the nerve of the tooth.

These cavities (dental infections) do not show up on x-rays until a great deal of damage has been done to the tooth. Most of the time these infections are painless and go undetected until the infection has done so much damage that the nerve has been injured and the patient needs root canal treatment. In some cases, the tooth can be so badly decayed, that it can no longer be repaired and needs to be pulled.

How are these cavities diagnosed? There are several tools that assist in finding cavities that don't show up on x-ray.

Magnification of the tooth with a dental intraoral camera is a very useful technique. The camera is the similar to a laparoscope but has a handle that makes it useable in the mouth.

A dental diagnostic laser is employed to investigate areas that appear decayed under the magnification of the intraoral camera. The laser shines a beam of light into the groove and gives a digital read out that shows how deep the hole in the groove is. If the groove is still shallow enough, dental sealants may be employed to seal up the groove and prevent bacterial from getting a foothold.

Once this type of cavity is diagnosed, they are best repaired with tooth colored fillings rather than with dental amalgam.

A drill-free method is employed which removes the bacteria without damaging the healthy tooth structure surrounding the groove. The instrument can best be compared to an airbrush with micro-particles that gently and quietly cleans the infected groove and prepares the tooth to receive a strong flowable resin that restores and seals the tooth.

Filling without drilling can be used on teeth that have not been filled before as well as teeth that were filled with tooth colored resins in the past. So if you've been putting off going to the dentist go get an examination now. Restoring a damaged tooth early is the best way to ensure that you remain healthy, save money and be free of pain.

Edilia Glenski, DMD is owner of Definitive Dental Care. She has been practicing general and cosmetic dentistry since 1980 and is one of only eight dentists in the state of Florida Accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Glenski is also a Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at St. Petersburg College. Definitive Dental Care is located at 2311 Alternate 19 North, #3, Palm Harbor, FL 34683. She can be contacted by phone at (727) 772-8001.

©Edilia Glenski, DMD, AAACD October 24, 2011

Source: EzineArticles
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