Conservative dentistry - questions and answers
Beautiful and functional teeth are the basis of oral health. Conservative dentistry is a branch of dentistry taking care of them from childhood onward.
Tartar and plaque are scaling of solid parts of saliva, different bacteria, food residues, fat, dead cells of the tongue and mouth and protein.
Tartar and plaque are a consequence of a poor oral health. They are the main causes of many periodontal diseases as well as bad breath. To prevent teeth and mouth diseases, it is essential to visit the dentist at least once every 6 months and remove tartar and plaque professionally.
Of all the existing diseases, caries is the most frequent one in the world. Besides caries, the main cause of tooth loss, is periodontosis. These two periodontal diseases are the culprits for 75% of lost teeth.
Caries is the most widespread periodontal disease that can attack the enamel, dentin, cement and tooth pulp. According to the reasearch, 95% of the world's population is affected by caries at some point in their life.
Simply said, pH value is a measure for acidity or alkalinity of a substance. pH value can be between 0 and 14. Clean distilled water has a pH value of 7 and that's the limit that we say is neutral. Between 0 and 7 is acid like for example lemon juice, that has the average pH value of 2.1 or coffee with the average pH value of 4.9. Between 7 and 14 is alkaline, like blood with pH value of 7.3 and sea water with pH 8.
With consumption of food and beverages, tartar and plaque collect on the surface of the teeth. These are full of food residues and proteins mostly containing glucose, fructose and sucrose. Bacteria present in scaling are degrading them, which causes acids to form. If the pH value (acidity index) falls under 5.5 hard dental tissues get decomposed. The result of hard dental tissue decompositions is caries.
Prevention is the most important in avoiding the formation of caries. Regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, using dental floss and mouthwash and removing tartar and plaque every 6 months, the formation of caries can be successfully prevented. Inspite all the precaution some patients can stil develop caries, because it also depends on genetic predisposition of the individual patient.
If caries has affected only a small part of the tooth, its restoration is pretty simple and it is possible to do it during only one visit to the dentist. Diagnosed caries is removed by grinding the affected part of the dental tissue and the tooth is restored with a composite filling.
If caries has affected a greater part of the tooth, it is very important to react quickly. An experienced dentist will remove all the affected parts of the tooth, until only the healthy tissue remains. He will then make an impression of the tooth and give it to the dental laboratory, where a ceramic inlay or onlay will be fabricated, which will perfectly match the new shape of the tooth. This type of restoration usually takes two visits to the dentist's. A restoration fabricated in this way is cemented to the natural tooth and will be totally indistinguishable.
If the caries is from the outer side of the tooth, it can be seen, but if it is inside the tooth it can hardly be seen with the naked eye. Caries is a silent killer of teeth and it won't cause any pain until it penetrates the tooth pulp inside the root canal. When it starts to hurt, it can already be too late to save the pulp or dental crown. For that reason precisely we recommend regular checkups at the dentist's.