Description of the specialty
What does a conservative dentist do?
A conservative dentist treats caries that results from the presence of cariogenic bacteria affecting the teeth. The bacteria cause the slow destruction of the enamel and the tissues located below, thus a cavity (or a hole) forms.
Caries is usually treated under local anaesthesia. The treatment consists of cleaning the cavity of bacteria present in it, and rebuilding the damaged part of the tooth with an aesthetic filling. Depending on the size of the cavity, it can take 30 to 60 minutes to treat a single tooth.
When to visit a conservative dentist?
Visit a dentist when you notice any of the symptoms that may indicate dental caries, including if:
- you experience discomfort or pain in your teeth while chewing or while consuming hot, cold or sweet drinks;
- you experience toothache for no apparent reason, regardless of the food you are eating;
- you suffer from permanent toothache, preventing you from sleeping, particularly if it intensifies at night;
- you have a swelling in the area of the painful tooth or a yellow discharge oozes from the gum;
- you notice dark yellow or brown cavities in your teeth (especially molars and premolars) that you can see or feel with your tongue;
- you notice dark stains on your teeth;
- you have stains that a hygienist has failed to remove in a professional teeth cleaning procedure;
- you have a bad taste in your mouth or you are unsuccessful in elimination of bad breath;
- when smiling, you see an exposed, darker tooth neck (the part of the tooth closest to the gum) or you experience sensitivity in this area, especially to low temperatures;
- you feel as if one tooth was “bigger” than the others, more mobile or painful when biting;
- you have noticed a chipped tooth or filling, creating a sharp and rough surface interfering with daily functioning and requiring correction.
In order to avoid caries, it is best to check your teeth regularly every 6 months, unless your dentist has recommended another frequency of your visits.
Why every 6 months? This is the period of time in which consequences of the development of newly formed caries can be effectively prevented: we can stop the enlargement of the cavity and the transfer of bacteria to subsequent teeth.
Conservative dental treatment at enel-med
At enel-med dental practices, we offer a full range of conservative treatment.
- Treatment of caries
Why is dental caries dangerous?
The oral cavity is the beginning of the digestive and respiratory systems. The bacteria that are found in it (including cariogenic bacteria) can penetrate the blood and, with it, spread throughout the body, causing:
- in healthy people: chronic infections, e.g. of the sinuses;
- in cardiac patients: endocarditis, valve damage, faster development of atherosclerosis.
How is dental caries treated?
- Removal of the affected tissue: First, the dentist drills away all the decayed (i.e. damaged or occupied by cariogenic bacteria) tissue.
- Tooth cavity filling: After removing the decayed tissue, the dentist places a tight and aesthetic (composite) filling in the cavity. DID YOU KNOW: Using our services, you do not have to worry about aesthetics: the colour of the filling will be matched to the natural colour of your teeth.
- Curing: After shaping the composite filling, it is cured and strengthened using a dental curing light (blue light). This way, the tooth is deprived of the source of the infection (bacteria) and its deeper tissues gain a tight protection.
At enel-med, we also treat cavities that have formed in teeth in other ways, e.g. by abrasion or chemical action. An example of such defects are tooth necks that may become exposed as a result of improper brushing, malocclusion or trauma. As with treatment of caries, they are filled with a composite material.
- Composite fillings
Composite fillings are used to fill all kinds of cavities. They offer many advantages, including:
- placement during a single visit to the dentist;
- high plasticity thanks to which the shape of the filling can be adapted to any surface;
- broad range of colours, enabling to provide a filling that matches the natural colour of the teeth, i.e. is practically unnoticeable (important in the case of the front teeth);
- durability: composite materials are durable, but can wear down over the years, just like the natural tooth surface. Therefore, it is a good idea to see your dentist every six months for a check-up to spot and replace any worn-out fillings in time.
Did you know: in the case of very extensive cavities, other types of fillings (inlays, onlays, overlays) prove better than composite fillings.
- Treatment of teeth hypersensitivity
Hypersensitivity is often caused by exposed tooth necks. Healthy tooth necks should be covered by the gum. If exposed, they cause severe pain while eating cold and hot meals, but are also unsightly.
Tooth necks exposed over a large area can be covered with a composite material, similarly as in the case of conventional caries treatment. For smaller areas, medical preparations are sufficient: they are rubbed into the exposed part of the tooth, obtaining instant relief for a long time. The dentist decides on the appropriate method of treatment of teeth hypersensitivity.
- Removal of discolourations
At enel-med, we can improve your smile after just a few visits. We remove imperfections with the use of the modern ICON preparation, eliminating white discolourations, being an early stage of caries, without having to use a drill. The preparation makes the colour of the teeth uniform, but also stops the development of caries.
Did you know: white discolourations are often seen on the front teeth after removal of fixed braces. They affect patients who have failed to maintain sufficient oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment.
- Periodic dental check-ups
Periodic dental check-ups are extremely important for caries prevention and maintenance of all treatment results. Only the dentist can notice the earliest signs of caries – patients are unable to do it at home.
Adults should visit a dentist every 6 months, whereas children – every 3 months.
Before a periodic check-up, make an appointment for a professional teeth cleaning procedure to remove plaque, deposits and tartar, as it will make it easier for the dentist to check teeth surface.
How to prepare for an appointment with a dentist?
- Have your teeth cleaned by a hygienist: this will enable your dentist to check the entire surface of your teeth more thoroughly, as previously it may have been covered by tartar. In turn, you will receive advice on how best to care for your teeth at home and improve the condition of your gums.
- Bring your test results with you: orthopantomogram or X-ray, even if they were taken a few years back.
- Remember the date of your previous check-up: this will make it easier for your doctor to choose any additional examinations (e.g. orthopantomogram, X-ray);
- Write down recent complaints, e.g. pain when biting, brushing, hypersensitivity to cold, heat, tooth tenderness, etc. The circumstances in which these symptoms appear, their severity, duration, and recurrence will be important.
What are the benefits of dental treatment?
- Health first: by treating and preventing caries, you eliminate the source of potential infections of other organs by cariogenic bacteria. This is important, especially if you suffer from chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis or you have had a heart attack.
- Pain relief: your dentist will usually be able to help you in just one visit. If your problem is more complex, you will be referred to another specialist.
- Taking control of your health: thanks to regular dental check-ups, you do not have to worry about a tooth suddenly starting to hurt you.
- Comfort: your visits to the dentist will be much more pleasant.
- Savings: preventive dental care is cheaper than dental treatment – you will pay much less for a small filling than for a root-canal treatment, for example.
Consequences of non-treatment:
- pain – a sick tooth might hurt a lot when you least expect it. The dynamics of the destruction process involving tooth structure varies (exacerbations and remissions);
- painful complications and tooth decay: in the case of a deep cavity, a root-canal (endodontic) treatment is necessary. It is long and expensive, and includes several stages because a tooth involved in a root-canal treatment requires additional strengthening. After the treatment, the tooth is dead and prone to fracture/chipping;
- bad breath that you cannot eliminate without professional treatment;
- messy stains and streaks, often on the front teeth;
- more teeth affected: cariogenic bacteria easily attack adjacent, healthy teeth;
- other diseases: cariogenic bacteria from untreated cavities penetrate from the oral cavity into the bloodstream, and are spread throughout the body.
Did you know: You can infect your child or partner with dental caries! All it takes is a kiss or the same cutlery.
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