Choosing Dental Materials – What’s the Difference?
When making a choice, it’s natural to wonder what the difference is between the choices available. With dental care, sometimes the differences in the quality of the result may not be initially obvious, but reveal themselves over time. With that in mind, there are a number of relatively new materials that we use that provide better, longer lasting restorations. Here are some of the new, available choices in dental materials:
- Disinfectants under fillings – Tooth decay is a bacterial disease. Once the decay is removed from your tooth, we typically use a disinfectant to improve the chances that you won’t have decay recur. We buy a special disinfectant impregnated tooth conditioner, as well as a second disinfecting agent in your tooth to prevent decay from occurring in that tooth again.
- Cavity detecting stains – We use all the traditional methods for determining whether we’ve removed all the decay from your tooth, but for years have been taking an extra step and using a cavity detecting dye to be extra certain.
- Fluoride releasing filling materials – New technology has enabled manufacturers to develop filling materials that store and release fluoride into your tooth and the surrounding teeth. These fillings will also “recharge” their fluoride levels any time you have a fluoride treatment, significantly decreasing your chances of decay.
- Fluoride varnishes – The latest, most effective method of providing fluoride treatments are fluoride varnishes that are painted directly on your teeth. Fluoride uptake is significantly higher than the traditional rinses and foams we’ve used in the past. We’re using these for adults as well as children, particularly adults that have been prone to decay or have a lot of tooth root surface exposed.
- Zirconia and Lithium Disilicate Crowns – Both of these tooth colored crown materials have shown excellent strength and improved esthetics compared to traditional porcelain to metal crowns. Zirconia is as strong as gold and a great choice for anyone who has previously fractured a porcelain crown or has a history of clenching and grinding.
- Tooth nerve soothing liners for deep cavities -The closer the decay is to the nerve of your tooth the more chance bacteria can infect the nerve leading to a toothache and a root canal. A new liner we have has been shown to protect the tooth nerve better than we previously could, enabling us to use fillings in some situations that we previously would have recommended root canals for.
- Attaching Dentures and Partial Dentures to broken teeth – Newer technology has given us ways to save what previously seemed to be an unrestorable tooth, using its root to attach a denture or partial denture. This option has allowed us to help many people stop using denture adhesive or trim back the area their denture covers.
- Stronger cements for crowns– Some teeth needing crowns just don’t have much tooth remaining for the crown to hold onto. We routinely use newer resin-based cement and often actually chemically bond the crown to the tooth to enhance the chances your crown won’t come off (disclaimer- this is not a challenge to try removing it with taffy).
This is just a short list of the materials we have chosen to use that improve the quality of the care we provide. There are many others. Most products we use have a range of quality we can choose from and we want you to know that we choose what we feel provides the best result, never cutting quality to save cost. We understand that you may sometimes see advertisements with what seems like incredibly low dental fees. Discount dentistry is like discount anything else- you generally get what you pay for. We are proud to provide high value, top-quality dentistry without being the most expensive in town. We hope you’ll approve.