Monthly Archives: February 2017

Winning the War against Cavities

cavities houston tx | Royal DentalThe war on cavities is one that we start to wage very early in life; in fact, before we know it. Early dental care is one of our priorities at Royal Dental. Working with the parents of young children, we focus on education and demonstration. Children learn as they continue to develop that what they eat will affect the overall health of their teeth. By the time each of us reaches adulthood, we may think that the war against cavities is over. But it may not be.

A prevalence of cavities in adulthood may not always be as easy to understand as one would think. You may be a person who brushes your teeth every day. You may even floss as your dentist recommends. Sugary treats may not be a regular indulgence, and yet, you still encounter cavities more frequently than you should (any cavity is one too many cavities,too). If this happens to you, there is probably one question you would like answered: why?

There are a few hidden triggers that could be instigating your run-ins with cavities.

Trash in the Trenches

Young patients who visit one of the Royal Dental practices may be treated with dental sealants. Sometimes, it is beneficial for adults to consider the value of this preventive treatment, too! The reason dental sealants are applied is because the back teeth have deep grooves in their center. Tiny particles of food can get trapped here, and will attract bacteria to the feast. Thus, plaque buildup occurs. After a thorough cleaning of the grooves, a liquid solution can be applied into the space. When the sealant hardens, it acts as a barrier to prevent debris from collecting.

Total Lockdown

Your saliva glands are an important part of cavity-prevention, not just for keeping the mouth moist and comfortable. Under certain conditions, such as taking some types of medication, the saliva glands may go into lockdown, producing very little fluid. Without adequate flow, the mouth becomes chronically dry, and the chronically dry mouth is one in which cavities are more of a problem. This is because moisture is needed to diminish the strength of acidity, and of sugar residue that may sit on teeth after a meal. While gum can temporarily kick glands into action, it is also important to remember to hydrate by sipping water every few minutes.

We care about your smile and want to help you and your family avoid unnecessary problems like cavities. Schedule your visit at (713) 330-7700.

Advantages of the Tooth-colored Filling

dental fillings houston tx | Royal DentalIf you had lived at the turn of the 20th Century, your dental concerns would have revolved more around keeping your teeth than in keeping your natural smile aesthetic. Today, most people expect to keep their teeth for a lifetime. The idea of tooth loss, once a given, is now an unpleasant surprise. At the same time, the idea of having a cavity filled with antiquated dental amalgam is also somewhat unheard of. The choice most patients now make is to undergo restorative care with a tooth-colored filling.

Amalgam fillings, aka “silver fillings,” seem to have been invented in a long-ago, far-away land. This metal alloy mixture was the norm for many decades. However, it has gradually been replaced with composite fillings. These fillings are made of microscopic particles of plastic and glass that are mixed into a putty-like substance. Most people do tend to look at the aesthetic value of composite fillings. They aren’t called tooth-colored fillings for nothing! In addition to the color-matching that makes composite fillings look just like natural teeth, though, there are other benefits that make this restorative option so appealing.

Retention

Composite fillings are completed in a single visit. The putty material is chemically bonded to the tooth. This is quite different from the mechanical retention of an amalgam. To keep an amalgam in place, it is necessary to form the tooth in a specific way; with a “lip” of sorts that keeps the filling from falling out. As you can imagine, creating the right opening for the filling means that more tooth matter needs to be removed than would otherwise be necessary. The chemical bonding of the composite eliminates the need for excessive reduction of the tooth. This not only preserves the natural structure, which is preferable, but it also heightens the end-result regarding durability.

Longevity

The conversation about which types of restorations last the longest continues. Some have said that amalgams are longer lasting than composites. However, due to the metallic nature of dental amalgam, these fillings are likely to crack at some point. Their margins, as well, shrink over time, which can let bacteria beneath the filling. Composites last many years due to the bonding process, as well as the minimal movement of the resin substance under hot and cold temperatures.

Dental fillings are some of the most common restorations. Knowing your options, you can better choose the method of repair that will provide you with the desired result.

 

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