It is the branch that deals with the treatment of dental caries and its effects and complications, and treatment of dental trauma.
What are caries? Why do we end up with dental caries?
Dental caries is a disease of the oral cavity consisting of tissue destruction of the tough parts of the tooth (enamel, dentin, cementum). The cause is the action of harmful bacteria in the oral cavity, which in favourable conditions (poor hygiene, humidity, heat) will produce acids capable of demineralizing and weakening these tissues.
- What are the signs that indicate the presence of caries?
During the first phase, the patient notices a brownish or blackish colouring of a portion of the tooth, then, with the evolution and formation of a cavity, the caries will produce accumulation of food, accompanied by fetid halitosis (bad odour). Sometimes the gum around the tooth may be swollen and painful or mucosal damage might occur due to the sharp edges created by the caries process.
The evolution of deep pain appears, indicating an affection of the dental pulp (nerve).
At that point, it is absolutely necessary to pay a visit to a dentist, to initiate therapy, thus avoiding the mortification of the dental pulp and the occurrence of tooth infections and abscesses.
- What is the treatment for dental caries?
Treatment involves removal of the dead and infected tissue, followed by their replacement with composite materials for filling (obturation). Currently, the materials used are modern, physiognomic (imitating tooth colour) and with physical and mechanical properties similar to natural tooth tissue.
After the caries is cleansed, a cavity cleaning gel is applied, followed by the application of an adhesive and then by a filling material that will be strengthened by using the blue high intensity light lamp for 20 seconds.
If the cavity caused by caries is deep and pain occurs, the process will be performed under local anaesthesia, for the comfort of the patient, and a medical dressing (calcium hydroxide) is applied, which will remain under the filling and will have a beneficial effect on the dental pulp.
Dental caries can occur in already showing teeth fillings because of the loss of adaptation to the dental walls, in which case it should be replaced.
Fillings should be checked radiographically after a period of 3-4 years from their application, to detect possible recurrent caries.
Postponing to treat your tooth, you risk losing it, not to mention the pain involved. The more you postpone, the more difficult the process becomes, involving intervention to save the tooth root canals. The operation will be lengthy and more costly.
So you need to act as quickly!
After various accidents (sports, traffic, hard food, violent aggressions) tooth and surrounding soft tissue damage can occur.
The most common are dental fractures, avulsion (tooth loss), luxation and dental extrusion / intrusion (tooth elongation or its clogging in the tooth socket). All situations mentioned above are considered dental emergencies and require your presence in the specialised office.
The dentist will identify specifically, through consultation and possibly with the help of dental radiography, what is the extent of the damage and determine an appropriate treatment.
When tooth avulsion (removal of the tooth from the socket) occurs, the tooth can be replanted, provided that it has been kept in milk, saliva or cold water with a little bit of salt, avoiding to dry the tooth at all costs until you arrive in the dental office.
It is very important, in case a tooth is fractured, that you take the fractured piece immediately to the dental office as there is the chance it could be reattached. When the detached fragment is missing or cannot be reattached, the tooth is restored with composite materials, or, if destruction is too great, it is covered by a crown.