Conservative dentistry is the branch of dentistry that deals with saving existing teeth and to nurse sick ones back to health. Its task is to alleviate toothache, to restore proper chewing function, and to prevent greater problems and help the teeth aesthetically. The following procedures are part of conservative dentistry: tartar removal, fillings, fissure sealing, inlays and onlays, and root canal treatments.
Tartar cannot be effectively removed at home, as you need an ultrasonic hand device, which produces sound waves that break up the tartar off of the tooth enamel. After this, the so-called Airflow technique is used to polish tooth surfaces and make them smooth, so as to prevent further problems. This way the entire tooth surface can be cleaned very thoroughly, and the tooth enamel is also left intact. After treatment, bacteria will have a hard time sticking to the newly polished surfaces.
Fillings come in amalgam, white fillings, aesthetic fillings, inlays/onlays and as fissure sealing.
Tooth fillings work by removing the infected bits of tooth material, creating a hole and then filling it up with malleable tooth filling material. The filling can be made of amalgam, although this kind of tooth filling is usually replaced as it is unsightly and contains several toxic heavy metals. Aesthetic tooth fillings, unlike amalgam fillings are tooth coloured and do not have negative health consequences.
If enough of the tooth is missing that a filling is just not plausible, that is when inlays and onlays enter into the picture. These prosthetics are made by a dental technician, and it is inserted into the tooth whole, while already hard and stable.
Fissure sealing is a preventative procedure, which is used on molars, to stop them from decaying and becoming infected. The cusps of the teeth are covered in a thin layer of porcelain, to stop them from getting infected.
Root canal treatments
If tooth decay is severe enough, then the bacteria can get inside the tooth itself, and infect the soft internal structures of the tooth, and this calls for a root canal treatment. During this procedure, the dentist removes everything inside the tooth, all of the nerves and blood vessels and soft issues, and fills the tooth up with a medicated root filling. When the infection has been fought off, then the final root filling will be fitted.