Traditionally, dentistry employed the tools that were available to restore smiles. Unfortunately, some methods did not provide long-lasting benefits. For instance, fillings made from metals that would expand and contract often caused surrounding tooth structures to crack.
Additionally, these fillings would darken, and the resulting discoloration was visible through thin enamel. This discoloration had the effect of teeth looking decayed, even if the overall structure was stable. For this reason, silver became the preferred replacement for metal fillings, along with composite fillings, which are a more aesthetically pleasing alternative.
As dentistry improved, composite fillings were considered technologically superior to other metal fillings in most respects. These fillings bond directly to natural tooth structures, are not affected by expansion or contraction and mimic natural teeth. In addition, dentists also found new ways to preserve natural tooth structures.
There are various schools of thought on what constitutes conservative dentistry. What most reputable dentists do agree on is that preserving natural tooth structure and health are primary goals. How this is approached depends on the experience and training of the dentist.
Preventative dentistry is the most effective strategy for conserving the original teeth. Preferably, oral healthcare should begin when the first tooth emerges, or a child reaches the age of one. For older patients who have received less than ideal care, identifying problems early allows for effective intervention.
Treating patients with preventative dentistry means identifying problems before they occur. This allows the dentist to provide education or treatment to strengthen teeth and gums. A good example of this approach is treating mild gum disease before the condition significantly worsens.
Another conservative dentistry approach involves choosing the most minimally invasive treatment possible. Chipping away at healthy tooth structure is not ideal. If the tooth can be saved with composite fillings, the enamel is saved from decay, and the risk of infection is greatly reduced.
At Feather Touch Dental Care, we are always learning new ways to avoid unnecessarily eroding natural tooth structure. So, if you want a dentist who is invested in your long-term oral health, reach out to our Atlanta, GA, offices today.
Posted on Behalf of Feather Touch Dental Care