What is conservative dentistry?
Modern dentists advise that even a healthy mouth needs regular check-ups. At Barcelona Dental Studio, we believe prevention is much better than cure.
We aim to provide preventative dentistry, as it is much better to treat tooth decay in time with a very small composite filling than wait until decay reaches the nerve and causes pain. If this is the case and you visit us with a painful tooth, we use conservative dental techniques to treat the nerve and save your tooth.
Contents of this page
- What is conservative dentistry?
- Conservative dental treatments
- How can I keep my mouth healthy?
- Other habits that can damage or create problems in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
Visit us at our dental clinic in Barcelona for free annual check-ups and we can advise you on the Conservative dental treatment you need and help you to keep your mouth healthy.
Conservative dental treatments
To keep your teeth healthy and working in your mouth for as long as possible, our dentists in Barcelona and across the world use a series of conservative dental treatments to prolong the useful life of your teeth and allow patients to smile and chew for as long as possible.
Conservative dental treatments include:
The dentist can use composite to replace dental tissue lost to decay or because of broken teeth.
Endodontic treatments (root canal)
In Barcelona, this treatment is more commonly known as a root canal. The treatment allows the dentist to disinfect the inside of the tooth that has been contaminated by the presence of advanced decay or a fracture to the tooth.
Also known as endocrowns. Composite inlays are a very conservative treatment in comparison with dental crowns, but they protect the tooth much better than a very large composite repair and reduce the long-term risk of fracture. They are generally used in teeth that have had endodontic treatment (root canal).
As with composite inlays, these are also known as endocrowns. Porcelain inlays have the same advantages as composite inlays, but as they are made of porcelain they last longer and in better condition than composite inlays.
These are used when the tooth is very badly damaged and it is not possible to attach an endocrown or inlay.
In contrast to full porcelain crowns, these crowns include very strong material inside called zirconia and this type of crown is used in cases where the internal structure of the dental crown needs reinforcement. This can be because of the type of bite or the pressure exerted on the tooth being replaced.
By combining these conservative treatments with the correct protocols, dentists can greatly prolong the life of teeth.
How can I keep my mouth healthy?
It has been scientifically proven that tooth decay and gum disease are some of the most common infectious diseases in humans.
It has also been shown that these infectious diseases have decreased over time, particularly in populations with access to dental treatment.
However, millions of children and adults continue to suffer from tooth decay and gum disease. If they are treated in time it is perfectly possible to keep all the teeth strong and healthy.
For a healthy mouth, there are many preventative treatments including:
Regular dental hygiene to prevent gum disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
A yearly application of fluoride varnish, to strengthen the enamel and avoid decay.
Using pit and fissure sealants also protects teeth against the formation of tooth decay.
In cases where there is decay, repairing composite.
When we talk of mild cases, these dental treatments form part of that group. A patient with dental crowding is at high risk of suffering gum problems in the crowded area as this the badly aligned teeth make it difficult to ensure good dental hygiene. In a case like this, using a simple procedure to correctly align the teeth can help avoid more complex problems in the future.
In cases where decay has reached a point where it produces pain or even infection, treating and repairing the tooth can also be considered conservative treatment. In the past these kinds of cases were solved by removing the teeth, meaning patients were left without a full set of teeth.
Nowadays, conservative dentistry is more widely used and the techniques applied for these treatments are more sophisticated and more successful in the long term. Both dentists in Barcelona and across the world aim to keep teeth in the mouth for as long as possible and recommend early, conservative treatment for dental problems.
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What is bruxism?
Bruxism is the unconscious habit of grinding the teeth, particularly at night, and is often associated with stress and anxiety.
How can I stop clenching and grinding my teeth (bruxism)?
After evaluation and diagnosis by a specialist dentist, a treatment plan will be decided for you. For most cases of bruxism or teeth clenching the treatment is to wear a night guard.
The most severe cases of teeth clenching and teeth grinding (bruxism) can lead to problems with the temporomandibular joint, which at its severest may need to be surgically treated by a maxillofacial surgeon.
Sometimes, it is necessary to reconstruct the worn teeth to correct the position of the jaw and help the muscles to work correctly.
What is a night guard and what is it used for?
A night guard is a rigid piece of acrylic that sits over the upper teeth and is worn in the mouth every night.
Using a night guard every night ensures the jaw is in a resting position, which helps to relax the muscles during the night and prevents temporomandibular dysfunction as well as wear on the teeth and the irreversible damage that creates.
As well as their oral and dental benefits, night guards also help relieve headaches and other pain created by bruxism and dental malocclusion.
Other habits that can damage or create problems in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
If I don’t grind my teeth what other things can damage or create problems in the TMJ?
As well as teeth grinding (bruxism) and clenching, there are other habits that can wear down the teeth and create problems in the temporomandibular joint, such as:
- Biting nails or teeth.
- Chewing pens or pencils.
- Using a lot of chewing gum.
Whether it is teeth grinding and clenching or other habits, the problem should be treated before it creates irreversible damage.
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