Tooth decay is one of the most widespread conditions worldwide. The surface of each tooth is covered with a biofilm composed of bacteria. This is known as dental plaque and is the principal cause oftooth decay . When exposed to sugar, the bacteria in the plaque produce a type of acid that gradually decalcifies the teeth. This can lead to tooth loss. That’s why tooth decay is a worry for most people. The good news is that, prevention avoids a good many problems. And if the decay is detected early on, your dentistcan treat it .
As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And when it comes to your smile, the professionals practicing dentistry at the Lapointe Dental Centres will join forces to help you to keep it as sparkling as possible.
Our dental professionals recommend an annual preventive visit (cleaning and check-up) as a means of safeguarding your oral health. They offer preventive treatments such as applying pit and fissure sealant or fluoride.
Pit and fissure sealant
Under a magnifying glass, the surfaces of the molars and premolars can be seen to be full of pits and grooves. These surface irregularities trap food particles that, together with bacteria, provoke tooth decay.
Consisting of applying a special coating to the tooth enamel, pit and fissure sealing stops bacteria and food from sticking to the surface. When combined with good oral hygiene, pit and fissure sealant offers excellent anti-cavity protection.
Pit and fissure sealant is usually recommended for permanent premolars and molars as soon as the adult teeth appear—usually around the age of 6 for the first permanent molar. These teeth are often cavity-prone because young children do not always have adequate oral hygiene.
Your Centre dentaire Lapointe professional can recommend this treatment as required.
Fluoride makes teeth more resistant to decay, thus benefiting oral health. Besides helping prevent cavities, fluoride can sometimes eliminate small cavities that have just started to emerge.
In-clinic fluoride application is usually reserved for children. Lapointe Dental Centre professionals recommend this treatment during preventive cleaning visits (at least once per year). However, fluoride treatment could also be recommended for an adult with a high degree of tooth decay.
Ask your Lapointe Dental Centre professional.
Treating caries consists of removing the decayed part of the affected tooth. Once the tooth is free of decay, the dentist may suggest various alternatives for replacing the missing part of the tooth.
Composite resin fillings
Composite resin is a material used to fill and restore teeth. Its main advantage? Aesthetics: the colour of the composite filling can be closely matched to that of existing teeth. Composite fillings therefore offer a more natural-looking alternative to their predecessors (silver amalgam fillings).
Extremely durable, the composite resin is applied and shaped during a short and simple procedure. It is then cured using a light before being adjusted and polished.
Used in dentistry for over a century, amalgam fillings are composed primarily of a mixture of silver, tin and copper. The mixture produces a silvery-grey paste that hardens once it is applied to the tooth.
Less aesthetic than composite resin, amalgam fillings are nonetheless highly resistant and offer excellent durability.
Porcelain inlays are another good solution used to repair cavities. More durable than composite fillings, inlays yield extremely pleasing results in terms of aesthetics. They also more closely resemble natural tooth enamel, thus restoring the repaired tooth’s original strength. For this reason, porcelain inlays are often recommended as a solution for cavities or when multiple tooth surfaces are missing.
The process is simple: after removing the decay, the dentist makes an impression of the tooth. This impression is the basis used to manufacture the inlay using a digital production system. Once manufactured, the inlay is cemented onto the tooth.