What is tooth caries?
Tooth caries is the scientific term for tooth decay. Caries directly translates from Latin as "rottten". They manifest as rotten areas in the teeth that can quickly turn into cavities. One of the biggest problems with caries is that they can affect teeth at any age, from small children to elderly people, but most often affects children and teenagers (usually aged 5 to 17 years).
Caries initially appears as small pieces of demineralised (softened) enamel on the tooth surface, usually hidden under cleft or furrow teeth or between the teeth. The decline spreads to a softer, more sensitive part of the tooth below the enamel (dentin). Weakened enamel collapses and thus creates a hole in the tooth, which gradually destroys the tooth. Cavities can attack the root of the tooth if there is gum recession, but it is more common in older people.
The early stages of tooth decay has no significant symptoms, but later, when the decay penetrates through the enamel, the tooth becomes sensitive to sweet, hot and cold food or drink.
Laser caries removal
Laser technology has provided a revolution in medicine and opened door to new, less invasive ways of treatment, which also bring better results. Lasers are used in dentistry as a supplement to standard procedures, and in some therapies they completely replace the traditional approach. If you have a fear of dental drills, laser therapy will provide you with a gentler and less invasive option. It also saves tooth tissue, the treatment is quicker and less painful (reduced use of anaesthetics), and the recovery is shorter and more pleasant.
At our Polyclinic we use the Waterlase iPlus laser made by the American company Biolase. This laser is appropriate for all tooth tissues: soft and hard, and is the result of a long research tradition whose purpose was to manufacture the most modern dental laser. Twice as efficient as its predecessors, WaterLase iPlus transmits extremely short pulses of more than 1000 W in short spikes of 100 pulses per second.
One way to prevent tooth decay is to reduce the amount of plaque and bacteria in your mouth, daily brushing and flossing. You can reduce the amount of bacteria with antibacterial mouthwash. Other mouthwash neutralize the acid in your mouth so that the environment becomes inconvenient for the growth of bacteria.
Harmful acids in the mouth you can prevent by reducing intake of sugary foods and carbohydrates throughout the day. The acidity in the mouth will be at a higher level for several hours after eating. Therefore, it is more likely that you will prevent tooth decay if you avoid snacks between meals.
If you have caries, you’re an ideal candidate. Laser can treat 90% of tooth decay, while in some cases the therapy needs to be combined with standard caries removal method - the dental drill.
Advantages of laser caries removal:
During therapy, Waterlase iPlus combines a jet of water and air together with laser energy to enable a more comfortable removal of caries than the standard drill. Water and air hydrate the tooth, prevent the heat and pain, while the laser beam precisely treats and shapes the tooth tissue without the contact, heat, vibration and pressure that cause pain. During therapy most people don’t feel any pain, so there is no need for anaesthesia or there is significantly less need for anaesthesia. After the caries is removed, we pass over the tooth with a laser beam to sterilize the surface on which the filling will be put.
There is no recovery after laser removal of dental caries and you can immediately return to your daily activities.