Conservative and restorative dentistry allows us to prevent, stop and cure a decay in all its phases, from the least to the greatest destruction of the tooth tissue. There are three types of treatments depending on the affected tissue:
- Enamel: On occasions, in the case of enamel decays we can choose a preventive treatment based on a good oral hygiene, the application of fluoride and correct follow-up visits with the dentist.
- Enamel and Dentin: In this case, the treatment is always restorative, performing a filling.
- Enamel, Dentin and Pulp (”tooth nerve”): On almost all the occasions, we will have to perform a root canal before tooth reconstruction.
When tooth decay extends to the pulp or nerve, a root canal must be performed. So if we treat the tooth decay on time, the root canal or the removal of the tooth won´t be necessary, in the event that it cannot be restored.
Frequently asked questions
Tooth decay is a bacterial disease caused by microorganisms which are present in the mouth (Streptococcus Mutans, Lactobacillus…). These bacterias form a biofilm sticking to the tooth and, after metabolizing carbohydrates of the diet, produce acids that are responsible for the tooth demineralization, leading to the decay.
Root canal is the treatment performed when the tooth decay is in the most advanced phase and has extended to the tooth nerve.
If the tooth is not treated, the infection could reach the pulp (tooth nerve) and subsequently cause the swelling of the area surrounding the apex (terminal end of the tooth nerve), leading to a pulp necrosis and apical periodontitis. On occasions, it can also cause an abscess or gumboil, suffering all or some of the corresponding stages of pain additionally.
Yes. Even though the root canal treatment is almost always successful, sometimes, it can fail when the case is complex due to a bad diagnosis, inappropriate technique or bad sealing. Therefore, this can cause pain associted with symptoms of acute apical periodontitis. When patients come to our clinic with failed root canal treatments, we also offer the possibility of performing the root canal treatment again, depending on the chances of survival of the compromised tooth. On other occasions, we can also perform an apicoectomy of the affected tooth.
No. The supposed toxicity of amalgam fillings is related to mercury toxicity. Elemental mercury of the amalgam fillings is not practically absorbed by the body (less than 0.01%). In fact, the amount of mercury that we absorb when we eat certain foods such as fish and shellfish is higher (a 90% is absorbed by our body not causing any health problem if the amount is low). Nowadays, amalgam fillings are uncommon due to the use of composite fillings (white). Even so, each material has its own indications and sometimes it is necessary to use amalgam.