Laser and tooth decay

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Why laser?

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Studies have shown that the DENTAL DRILL IS AMONG THE MOST HATED MEDICAL INSTRUMENTS, considered by many as a torture instrument.

Treating tooth decay is associated by most patients with the teeth “drill”, this awful instrument that makes an unbearable sound. Even after anesthesia, many patients are annoyed by vibration and noise. Therefore, we have invested, replacing the dental drill with laser beam, evaporating affected tissues without vibration and implicitly without pain.

We detect tooth decay with laser, vaporize affected tissue with laser, sterilize with laser. We treat tooth decay efficient!

Precision – special dental lasers, such as those produced in USA by Biolase or Fotona companies, both part of the equipment of Implantodent clinic, are able to clean tooth decay fast and precise, contributing in preserving a large amount of healthy tissue. All of this without pain or rarely with minimum discomfort, which makes anesthesia being rarely used.

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Without vibrations – Work technique is non-contact, the laser we are working with being hydrokinetic. This translates (as seen in the top movie) into absence of friction, meaning no heat to the nerve, meaning no pain and naturally, no vibrations, namely without fissures and microfractures in the enamel and dentine. Practically, the tooth is being sectioned or processed by laser energy charged water particles that hit the tissue and are propelled by compressed air at high speeds.

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Cavity sterilization represents another major advantage that laser brings when treating dental decay. It is well known that within the tooth decay numerous bacteria are hiding, increasingly aggressive. In the classic manner, when using the dental drill, it produces strictly a mechanical removal of damaged tissues, while numerous bacteria remain under the dental filling, favoring the relapse of tooth decay. Waterlase tooth decay treatment from Biolase allows, after dead tissues cleaning, the resulted cavity to be sterilized, filling (dental filling) being realized in a sterile environment, isolated with a dental dam and laser irradiated. Thus, in the long term, even if the procedure is a little more expensive initially, it becomes economical, with no need in changing fillings in teeth with decay relapse once every 2-3 years.

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Tooth filling adherence – normally, adherence between dental tissues and filling is chemically assured, by applying an adhesive substance. Adherence is limited and the filling, which lies in a wet and acid environment can detach with large mastication forces. Laser improves adherence, because with its help microretentions can be created in the enamel and dentin, small hollow spaces in which the filling material will penetrate through pressure.

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What is tooth decay?

See also laser treatment of tooth decay in the section “Laser treatments”.

Tooth is made up of 2 segments, crown and root and consists of hard and soft tissues. Tissues are represented by enamel and dentine at the crown level and cement and dentine at the root level. Soft tissues are found in the tooth canal, made up of nerves and blood vessels.

Tooth decays represent hard tissue disorders, more exactly of enamel, dentine or cement.

The way we handle teeth, nutrition, fluoride quantity in water and food or tooth paste and last but not least heredity, directly influences tooth decay formation.

Although tooth decay is more frequent in children due to lower resistance of hard tissues, nutrition rich in sugar and carbohydrates and oral hygiene habits which are sometimes neglected, adults are also exposed to the risk.

There are several types of tooth decay:

  1. Decay of crown – most frequent type encountered, in children as well as in adults, usually found on the mastication surface of molars or interdental.
  2. Decay of root – as we get older, gums retract and the tooth’s root remains exposed to acid attack from the mouth, because at this level there is no enamel for protection.
  3. Secondary decay or decay relapse – forms around existent fillings and dental crowns. These are areas that tend to accumulate bacterial plaque, which leads to strong acid attack and implicitly in tooth decay formation.

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Main risk factor in adults and elders is represented by the dry mouth syndrome, a disorder caused by decrease in saliva quantity, caused by some diseases, drugs, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which can be temporary (days, months) or permanent, depending on the cause.

Tooth decay is a serious disorder. Untreated, tooth decays can destroy teeth totally, including soft tissue from inside, where the nerve and blood vessels are located, causing dental abscess and infection at the root apex. Sometimes abscess can be treated by treating the canal and saving the tooth but, most of the time, it resorts to surgery or dental extraction.

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Here is how negligence can irreversibly complicate things: the small tooth decay enlarged, became complicated and you have lost the tooth.

How can I find out if I have tooth decay?

The correct answer can only be found at the dentist. The emergence and evolution of tooth decay passes unnoticed most of the time, in hidden areas, where bacterial plaque isn’t properly removed. Another example would be the areas between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot clean and dental floss must be used.

A diet rich in carbohydrates and sugar such as starch and sugars, inevitably leads in tooth decay emergence, because these substances feed bacteria from the bacterial plaque, producing acids that attack teeth. Tooth decay advances in depth through the enamel, but the tooth surface remains intact. After damage of a large part of enamel, its surface collapses, forming the decay.

That is why, our specialists share their clinical experience and use the entire technologic arsenal available in Implantodent clinics:

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  1. Scan teeth with decay detectors based on laser, identifying even the hidden ones.
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  2. Avoid any diagnosis uncertainty, using advanced sensors of digital radiology.
  3. Measure precisely, with digital technology depth and extent of the tooth decay, so that any useless sacrifice of healthy dental tissue isn’t performed.
  4. Use dental microscope or special dental lenses to increase visual acuity, in investigation phase as well as in treatment phase.
  5. Use special substances which highlight decayed tissues, thus avoiding damaging of healthy tooth parts.
  6. Use rotation instruments and quality drills, that don’t produce trepidations, vibrations and excessive friction, smell and heat generators, so naturally no pain.
  7. Intervene with dental laser anytime they wish to assure a maximum patient comfort, perfectly cleaning the tooth decay, without releasing any odors, turbine noises and vibrations.
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  8. Isolate teeth with the dental dam and perfectly fill teeth cleaned of decay with the most advanced composite materials, ensuring color and texture of the tooth. Material modeling involves patience and carefulness, so that the filling, especially from the front teeth becomes a true work of art which can represent us over the years.
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  9. For teeth with advanced damage, porcelain inlays without metal are used, true jewelry, extremely precise, esthetic and resistant, and obtained in our clinics with the aid of performance technology CAD/CAM CEREC from Sirona.
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The highest frequency of tooth decay is at posterior teeth level, more exactly in the ditches from molar chewing surface or between teeth, often at gum level or even under it. No matter where they appear, the best way to track and treat them prior to worsening is to pay a visit to the dentist, at least every 6 months for regular checkups.

How can we prevent tooth decay emergence?

  1. Through brushing at least twice a day and using dental floss to remove interdental and under the gum junction bacterial plaque.
  2. Routine dental checkups through preventive measures to stop problem occurrence and not letting minor issues become severe.
  3. A balanced diet, poor in sugar and starch and rich in vegetables and fruits. If you still eat sweet and sticky food, try to do it during meals and not in between meals, in order not to expose teeth to produced acids.
  4. By using oral hygiene products enriched with fluoride, including properly fluoridated toothpaste.
  5. Make sure your children have an adequate intake of fluoride in water or food. If your drinking water source does not contain fluoride, the dentist or pediatrician can prescribe daily supplements based on fluoride.