How does tooth decay happen?

The most common cause of dental tissue damage is tooth decay. It can be caused by bacterial infection, dental plaque or poor oral hygiene. Sometimes it is also conditioned by the quality of dental tissues, which is related to the patient’s health condition and genetic background.

What are the types of tooth decay?

Depending on the speed of the process, tooth decay may be acute, chronic or stopped. Furthermore, we distinguish between enamel, dentin, and cementum tooth decay, which are hard tooth tissue. While in the case of children, tooth decay especially affects the tooth’s chewing surfaces, in the case of adults it is mainly the so-called interdental caries, which is caused by the non-cleaning of the interdental spaces. Untreated tooth decay leads to tooth marrow damage and, in later stages, to the formation of an infectious bone lesion in the area of the root apex.

How to treat tooth decay?

Treatment of tooth decay Prague
Treatment of tooth decay Prague

In the treatment of tooth decay, the rule is the earlier, the better. The treatment of tooth decay is all the more complicated if/when the dental tissue is destroyed. The dentist will determine the appropriate method of tooth decay treatment based on a physical examination. Nowadays, early tooth decay can be treated without the need for “drilling,” by using concentrated fluorides or ozone. Such treatment is absolutely pain-free. Treating the advanced stage of tooth decay consists of removing it by drilling and filling the formed area with a filling or so-called dental filling. However, if tooth decay is at an advanced stage and has reached the dental pulp, it is necessary to treat the tooth’s root canal system. All of these procedures are done painlessly in our dental clinic using local anaesthesia.

Amalgam or “white” filling?

The type of tooth filling is chosen based on the dentist’s assessment with respect to the patient’s wishes. As a rule, there is a choice between the uncharged, free amalgam and the charged “white” dental filling (composite). Amalgam is the strongest material but has a number of disadvantages such as toxicity (it contains harmful mercury), volume expansion (in cases of insufficient thickness, the tooth wall can be broken), poor adhesive quality (bond to the tooth) and the fact that it is impossible to use in areas visible when you smile. A composite tooth filling is highly aesthetic, has better adhesion quality, and in particular, does not contain mercury. Composite tooth fillings may be chemical or light curable.  Light-curing dental fillings (photo composites) make it possible to achieve top-quality results.  Chemically curing dental fillings are considered to be of a lesser quality and cannot be colour layered.