Reasons for the tooth decay
Starting point of the tooth decay is a settled tooth plaque. It is a layer containing bacteria which change sugars to acids thus invading the tooth enamel. Plaque is able to settle down everywhere, but from some places in the mouth it is harder to remove - e.g. pores, interdental spaces, chewing surface which is uneven and tooth cervix. Those places, where plaque finds potential for settlement and is not removed in time, are the ones where the tooth decay emerges.
How the decay develops further
The tooth decay does not hurt at the beginning. Most often this process starts on the surface of the tooth and looks like a small stain of the decalcified part of the tooth enamel. This is the right time to make an appointment and have your tooth saved at an early stage.
If the tooth decay is not removed from the surface part, it grows deeper. This way the decay can effect the inner part of your tooth, the dentin and then enter the dental pulp, contaminate it thus causing pain. Contamination of pulp leads to inflammation and even to the necrosis of the pulp and the nerves. At this stage, the root canal treatment is needed.
Deeper decay can appear as a darker enamel color and later as a defect such as a "hole" in the tooth.
Since the tooth decay is an infectious disease, it happens a lot that it spreads from one tooth to another. This is another reason to remove it and to fix it quickly.
Types of fillings
Tooth fillings can be divided into several categories. Most common methods are:
In case of the classic composite filling, known as the white filling, the dentist drills only the slot of the decay and saves healthy tissue of the tooth. This is due to fact, that composite filling is able to make "connection" , on microscopic level, with tooth tissue. Composite filling is an aesthetic and long lasting material. You can eat and drink right after the treatment what is an advantage of this method.
The disadvantage of an amalgam filling is not only the fact, that it is "seen", but it is also needed to drill healthy tissue of the tooth. Because this filling isn't able to make connection with tooth tissue, it is necessary to make huge cavity and to fill it with soft amalgam, which solidify after two hours and in the future will increase on volume. This attribute - increasing on volume, is another disadvantage, since it can lead, after years and when talking about big fillings, to fracture of the tooth. Patient can't eat for two hours after appointment. The advantage of an amalgam filling is it's durability.
This material is used as a temporary filling. It is not as hard as a composite filling and after time it loses its thickness. But it is commonly used in pediatric dentistry as a good filling material for milk teeth, because of its capability of releasing fluoride ions. These fluoride ions are able to remineralise surrounding tissues and are causing the defence against tooth decay.
In case of an excessive tooth tissue lost, it is recommended the reconstruction of the tooth by indirect restoration. The best way, the quickest way and the most commonly used way in Schill Dental Clinic is to do so by Cerec®.
Fixed prosthetics fillings made by Cerec® are used in cases of vast tooth tissue lost, in cases of big decays and in cases of tooth fractures. With this modern technology we can make inlays, onlays, dental crowns and also dental bridges in one appointment. The material is high quality ceramics with colour and structure like your own tooth.
Read more about Cerec®.
Frequently asked questions
Proper and regular home care and hygiene habits are essential tools for preventing caries and oral cavity problems. We should clean our teeth twice a day and also regularly use dental aids (interdental brushes, dental floss, etc.). At the preventive check-up we should visit the dental hygiene office at least twice a year (ideally every six months). It is also important to observe appropriate diet and to avoid sweetened drinks and sweets.
Depending on the location and severity of dental caries, we have different options to restore the form and function of the tooth. The caries bearing is removed by using a dental drill if it is possible. If the caries also affected the pulp and caused inflammation in the tooth, also the root canal should be treated. Other methods of caries treatment include laser treatment, which is used to remove caries damaged by caries, then disinfection or ozone therapy, which treats the damaged part with ozone.
We try to make our patients feel comfortable not only in the waiting room but also in the dental chair. Modern technologies allow us to perform interventions quickly and even painlessly. We use HealOzone to stop a small tooth decay.
Yes. Teeth sensitivity to the cold is possible especially after deep decays treatment. However, this is only a transient state until the teeth produce a protective layer of the dentine. It can last for several days.
The ozone therapy has a wide range of application. It can be applied as a preventive method, which is used mainly in children. It is also used to remove tooth decays, but not advanced decays associated with inflammation of the pulp. After the ozone application, the tooth is covered by filling.