Conservative dentistry encompasses all treatments aimed at restoring, treating and saving the patient’s teeth, which are damaged by multiple causes. Therefore, it covers all the treatments with which we try to avoid the extraction of dental pieces.
One of the most frequent human pathologies is dental caries, the main target to be eliminated from conservative dentistry. It can appear at any age, but often begins to occur in children and young adults. It is a common cause of tooth loss in younger people and that is why its correct diagnosis and treatment is very important.
Our mouth has a great variety of bacterial flora. Some of these bacteria feed on the remains of food left in our mouth after meals, especially sugars and starches. In the metabolism of these sugars, acids are produced that, with repeated contact with the surface of the teeth, produce irreversible damage to the structure of our teeth. As the teeth have no capacity to repair these damages, the result is cavities, which is what we know as dental caries.
Cavities initially do not hurt, until they have produced such large defects that they already affect the nerves of those pieces. Finally, the carious pieces fracture and the pulp involvement causes an infection of the periapice that can lead to the appearance of Intramaxillary Cysts (Inflammatory Radical Cyst) and facial fistulas or cellulitis (Inflammation of the Soft Tissues of the face).
Carbohydrates (sugars and starches) increase the risk of tooth decay, especially if we eat them as sticky foods (candies, sugus, etc, …). In addition, carbonated and sugary drinks are especially harmful by conjugating sugars and acids.
Another frequent cause of damage to the structure of the teeth is trauma.
Prevention is the best treatment of tooth decay. At the Dental Clinic Dávalos & Balboa, in Murcia, we recommend a bi-annual review of our mouth and at least a panoramic radiography biennially. In addition, oral hygiene is essential to prevent tooth decay. Fundamentally it is about performing a regular professional cleaning (every 6 to 12 months), brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
Pit and fissure sealants can prevent tooth decay in children and adolescents, whose enamel is still immature and especially vulnerable. Consult Dávalos and Balboa for this treatment with sealants. They are applied in the areas of the teeth with more risk of decay and more retentive especially of the molars and prevent the accumulation of plaque in the deep grooves of these surfaces.
In addition the topical application of fluorides is another way to prevent tooth decay and strengthen the enamel of our teeth. In general we recommend the application of fluoridations annually from 7 years, until approximately 12 years. People who consume fluoride in the water they drink or who take fluoride supplements have fewer tooth decay. In addition, using fluoridated toothpastes regularly in our daily brushing is the easiest way to protect our teeth.
Topical fluoride is also recommended to protect the surface of the teeth. This may include a toothpaste or a mouthwash. Many dentists include the application of topical fluoride solutions (applied to a localized area of the teeth) as part of routine consultations.
All these treatments are part of conservative dentistry and preventive dentistry, which reduces the need for invasive dental treatments in the medium and long term.
If finally dental caries occurs, we must resort to dental fillings, endodontics, crowns or in extreme cases to the exodontics of the piece involved.
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