Preventive Restorations in Calgary Alberta
In the past, decay had to get to a certain size before dentists felt that is was bad enough to freeze and drill the tooth to fill it.
Now, however, it is possible to treat even the tiniest cavities using magnification.
We can them preventive resin restorations.
The idea is that the weak link of the tooth are the grooves you see on the top surface of the back teeth.
If is very difficult to clean those grooves well enough to stop decay from forming.
In the past, we would wait till the decay got through the enamel and into the dentin before we would treat it.
Now, we have techniques to remove the early decay using magnification and flowable filling materials when even a small speck of decay begins in the enamel. Enamel has no nerves so we can remove the decay and fill the teeth with no freezing and no pain.
In fact, we can go one step further; we can clean out every groove of every back tooth and fill them with the same materials that we use for regular fillings. We even do them when there is no decay; hence the term preventive restorations. If we can permanently seal those grooves that are prone to decay, your child will hopefully never need a real filling with freezing and drilling into the deeper part of the tooth.
These fillings can be done with a very small diameter drill; almost like a needle or with microabrasion, or air abrasion, which is a technique that is being used by the general dentists at Deer Valley Dental Care.
A very safe procedure, microabrasion uses an instrument that works like a mini sandblaster by spraying away decay. This procedure will require the patient to wear protective eyewear, to prevent eye irritation from the spray, as well as a rubber dam in the mouth. The rubber dam is simply a thin sheet that fits around teeth to protect nearby teeth and gum areas that aren’t being treated during microabrasion.
Using a dental instrument, the general dentist sprays a fine stream of particles over the decayed portion of the tooth or teeth. These particles are propelled toward the tooth’s surface by compressed air that runs through the dental handpiece. As the stream of particles strikes them, small particles of decay on the tooth surface are removed. The particles of decay are then “suctioned” away.
- The procedure generates no heat, sound, pressure or vibration.
- It reduces the need for anesthesia, particularly if the cavity is shallow.
- It leaves much more of the healthy tooth tissue behind.
- It leaves the working area relatively dry, which is an advantage during the placement of composite fillings.
- It reduces the risk of micro fracturing and chipping of the tooth, which some experts believe can lead to premature restorative failures.
- It allows the dentist to treat multiple sites in the mouth during a single visit.
After the grooves of the teeth have been cleaned out, bonding is then applied along with a white micro-filling that seals the groove of the tooth to prevent further decay. Microabrasion is primarily used on children and teenagers but can be used for any age of the patient with a small cavity or as a preventative procedure to prevent decay in the first place. For more information, please read about sealants on our Children's Dentistry page.
All dental services at our office are offered by general dentists.