If an adult, feeling that something is wrong with the tooth, immediately goes to the dentist, then the parents sometimes do not pay attention to caries in the babies, believing that temporary baby teeth will fall out anyway. This is a dangerous delusion.
If you miss the moment, the infection will penetrate into the surrounding tooth tissue and inflammation will go to the germ of the permanent tooth, which is under its milk “fellow”. And this is a direct road to removal and not only.
So, premature loss will further affect the eruption of permanent teeth, the formation of bite, and even the structure of the facial skeleton. Fortunately, modern treatment methods are able to prevent all of these scenarios.
Caries is an infection caused by so-called cariogenic microorganisms. Under their influence, the tissues of the tooth are destroyed, which may further lead even to its loss.
Dentists distinguish several stages of caries. At the initial stage only enamel is affected. In this case, either a stain appears on the tooth (doctors say: “caries at the stage of the spot”), or a small carious cavity (this condition is already called superficial caries).
If you miss the time, the infection will penetrate to the dentin and cement, and then it will be more difficult to eradicate. So it is better to start the treatment in these two early stages.
In addition, if only the enamel is damaged, several modern methods of painless therapy, which are an excellent alternative to a drill, will help to correct the situation.
The only problem is to suspect caries in children is not so simple. Most often, the child does not feel any pain, so there are no complaints from him.
But attentive parents will notice the appearance of white or brownish spots. And if the baby tells you that his teeth hurt when he has a sour apple or sweets, this is a definite symptom.
The most optimal method of treatment, of course, will be selected by a doctor, although awareness of this issue also does not hurt parents.
All the newest methods have one common and very significant limitation: they do not work at the middle and deep stages of caries, when bacteria have already penetrated the dental tissue. If a disease is triggered, then a carious cavity is formed (in other words, a hole).
Then the meeting with the drill can not be avoided. But if you catch the right moment, the benefits will be enormous. Thus, with traditional methods of treatment, it is often necessary to administer anesthetics, and the reaction to these drugs is not always neutral.
Then, if you drill a tooth, it will surely heat up, and heat can transfer to the pulp. Since this connective tissue is penetrated by nerve endings, lymphatic and blood vessels, the sensations will not be the most pleasant.
In addition, microcracks can form in the enamel due to the vibration of the drill. The treatment itself takes quite a lot of time, and it is impossible to cure several teeth in one visit.
New methods are completely painless, and the introduction of anesthetics is not required. Another, and perhaps the biggest plus: the tooth does not heat up, which means that the patient completely gets rid of the pain.
The procedure itself is faster, so at one time the doctor can process several lesions at once. Another advantage over the drill is that the nozzles do not vibrate, which reduces the risk of microcrack formation in the enamel.
It should only be remembered that, for all its innovativeness, modern methods of treating the “early” caries do not cancel the installation of fillings. And only in rare cases, when the infection touches such a tiny area that it does not hold onto it, a special remineralizing solution is used, the task of which is to strengthen the “disturbed” enamel.
Now we will consider each method separately to see if there is a fundamental difference between them.
Dentists often use remineralization therapy as caries prevention. It aims to saturate the tooth tissue with two key minerals – fluorine and calcium.
For this special varnishes, gels or medicinal pastes are used. At the same time, this procedure reduces the sensitivity of enamel to cold, warm, sour or sweet food and increases the service life of the installed fillings.
The first time the tooth is processed in the clinic, then the same will need to be done at home for several days. It is better to apply the product at night after evening brushing your teeth or between meals (after the procedure you can not eat for 3-4 hours), daily or every other day.
Remineralizing therapy is carried out by courses that need to be repeated several times in about 5-6 months. Each such “cycle” consists of 15-20 applications.
After the end of the course of treatment, the teeth are covered with fluoride, which forms a protective film on the enamel and “seals” the microcracks.
The most common method of dental treatment without drilling is water-abrasive (or air-kinetic). In fact, it is the removal of damaged tooth tissues using a miniature sandblasting machine with several nozzles.
Sand, air and water from different nozzles are fed to one common nozzle, and the mixture under strong pressure washes away the infected tissues without affecting healthy ones.
Plus technology is that it reduces the risk of secondary caries. With the traditional treatment of the drill, recurrences occur: despite the filling, the infection often continues to develop.
The sanding device processes the carious surface much more carefully. In addition, the procedure is inexpensive and takes much less time than drilling.
The disadvantages are that, firstly, after such a treatment, the sensitivity of the tooth may increase, because the device removes a thin layer of enamel. Secondly, the carious cavity in hard to reach places is not accessible. Third, though small, but there is noise from the device.
And fourthly, the crumb can start to fidget impatiently, and if something attracts his attention outside the window, he will move and … the stream of sand, water and air will not go where it should be. Harm, of course, it does not cause, but the feeling will not be pleasant.
There, where the sanding device cannot reach, special gel gets. The method of treatment is called chemical-mechanical, or infiltration. The gel is applied to the damaged tooth surface, which under its influence gradually splits.
After that, the gel is washed off and the doctor covers the tooth with a protective resin.
The main advantage of the method is that it is absolutely silent. After treatment with gel stains does not remain.
And if the patient twitches, nothing terrible will happen: the composition of the gel does not work on healthy tissues. But this technology has been applied relatively recently, and it is still difficult to judge its long-term results, therefore a checkup is required about a month after treatment. And it is possible that the procedure will have to be repeated.
In addition, infiltration can only be done on or between the smooth surface of the teeth. On the chewing plane, where there are indentations, it is useless to use it: the entire gel will drain into the indentations, bypassing the affected area. And one more inconvenience: the procedure can take quite a long time.
To soften the enamel, the gel must lie down for at least 2–3 minutes, and the protective resin hardens after another 5 minutes. It’s sometimes 10 minutes to sit with your mouth open, and not every child will pass this test.
Ozone therapy is considered the fastest method of treatment for early stage caries. It is based on the natural properties of ozone: at a certain concentration, this gas destroys all the bacteria that cause the destruction of enamel and dental tissue. The procedure is as follows.
A special silicone cap is applied to the tooth, then air is pumped out from under it. Only then under the cover gas is supplied.
After 20-30 seconds, all the disease-causing bacteria die. Then a special remineralizing composition is applied on the surface of the tooth enamel and a filling is put.
The advantages of the method are that ozone sterilizes tooth tissues, preventing the occurrence of secondary caries, and strengthens the enamel, so the technology can also be used for preventive purposes. But most importantly – the treatment takes place in seconds and completely without noise.
Lack of ozone therapy alone, but very significant: it is expensive.
Laser treatment is based on the effects of low-intensity laser radiation. The tissues damaged by bacteria differ in structure from healthy ones.
The laser beam easily recognizes them and painlessly removes them. The main bonus of the method is in its absolute sterility: the tip from which the beam emerges does not touch the tooth.
When using other technologies, the risk of infection remains: it all depends on how thoroughly the tools have been cleaned. But it is necessary to apply laser technology very carefully so as not to damage the pulp when processing a large carious cavity. Otherwise, the patient will get a burn that will heal for a very long time.
Conclusion: only a certified specialist can work with a laser, therefore of all the mentioned technologies this one is the most expensive. Another point: as with the air-abrasive method of treatment, the patient must sit still for at least 5–10 minutes, so laser therapy is not suitable for restless and children under 3 years of age.
Not only the newest methods, but also the traditional ones help to cope with caries: at the early stage of the disease, they also make it possible to do without such an unpleasant procedure as drilling. These include silvering enamel, which was very popular 10 years ago.
The method is still effective, but it has become less common. The main explanation is associated with a purely aesthetic flaw, which in modern reality has ceased to be harmless. Everyone knows that silver-plated teeth are painted black, because under the influence of oxygen the noble metal is oxidized.
But if before no one thought about how this affects the baby, now everyone has finally noticed: a dubious “decoration” can cause the child the strongest psychological discomfort. That is why parents and dentists are increasingly preferring other methods of caries treatment.