Dental work has not been avoided by technical progress and the focus of the new discoveries is on pain minimization and performing less invasive work. The general trend is to protect the teeth and to prevent, rather than to extract. Among the latest technologies we can find lasers, sedatives and cleaning solutions.
Laser can detect cavities
Professor Clifton M. Carey from School of Dental Medicine University of Colorado states:
“A growing body of research shows the light-based devices are highly sensitive. A recent study found one device caught 93% of early caries, the dental term for tooth decay, compared with 27% for X-rays. But some scientists warn the machines could result in overtreatment—as early decay may not need a filling. […]When a machine finds early decay, before agreeing to go under the drill, patients should ask the dentist if the tooth decay can be reversed. Methods to reverse decay include better toothbrushing, improved diet and a potpourri of toothpastes and gels that add fluoride and minerals to the teeth, dentists say.”
It is expected that this technique will replace traditional X-rays as well as computerized 3D X-rays since it finds the problems much earlier and in a less dangerous way for the body. This could be used for small children or pregnant women. As highlighted by the professor it is important to test for false positives to avoid overtreatment and, even when this is necessary, to perform it by the least invasive method, starting with bacteria cleansing and remineralization.
Laughing gas to ease the pain
Most people postpone any visit to the dentist due to expected pain and a fear of the equipments used, especially the drill. For the scared ones, as well as for extremely painful procedures there is the option to use gas or IV sedation. The result is either local, short-term or a deep sleep, making the patient totally unaware of the procedure. The portal WebMD explains:
“For people who avoid dentists like the plague, sedation dentistry may take away some of their anxiety. Sedation can be used for everything from invasive procedures to a simple tooth cleaning. How it’s used depends on the severity of the fear.”
The only drawback of this procedure is that patients opting for a higher degree of sedation should have someone to care for them when they live the practice, as driving on their own or using public transport are not recommended due to drowsiness and a general state of fatigue.
Ozone can heal small cavities
When analyzing the root cause of tooth decay it comes down to bacteria being allowed to multiply in humid and warm, small spaces. Therefore, if we could eliminate the microscopic inhabitants of our mouth, we would have a smaller chance of developing cavities. The simple sterilization with ozone technique was the beginning of a new invention to eliminate bacteria and prevent decay:
“HealOzone is a device that produces ozone from oxygen and applies it to the part of the tooth that is affected by decay. The ozone acts to kill the bacteria that are causing the tooth to decay. Studies have shown that as little as ten seconds of ozone treatment can kill 99 percent of oral bacteria.
Once the bacteria are dead, a substance that encourages remineralisation can be used to supply minerals to the damaged tooth. This process can actually repair some of the damage that the bacteria have caused, which makes it a much more attractive option than simply drilling away the damaged regions.”
At Bee Cave’s Best Dental Services we are on the lookout for the latest in dental hygiene and techniques as we believe that new technologies and discoveries should be put to good use immediately after deemed safe. Currently we are proud of our results regarding composite bonding, a procedure usually performed without anesthesia that is both cosmetic and practical, making teeth look even, reducing spaces between them and mending small enamel chips.