Teeth do not heal and the teeth holding apparatus can only regenerate to a limited extent. It is therefore important to take proper care of your teeth and gums to avoid disease. But what if a tooth is still diseased, or it damages the supporting structure? Here you will get an insight into the different dental possibilities of tooth preservation to avoid tooth loss.
Tooth preservation – What can you do for your teeth?
Tooth preservation starts with brushing your teeth in the morning. You should ensure that all tooth surfaces are thoroughly cleaned. The floss is the only way to reach the spaces between the teeth and is therefore especially important.
A tooth-friendly diet also helps to protect your tooth substance and keep it healthy. Acidic foods such as fruit juices, cola, and iced tea attack the tooth enamel directly and soften the surface. If you clean afterward, you not only scrub away plaque but also tooth substance. The frequent consumption of sugar also creates an optimal environment for bacteria that cause caries. These bacteria are responsible for demineralization and can cause various defects in tooth enamel.
To ensure the health of the teeth and the oral cavity, a six-monthly check should be carried out at the dentist. During this check-up, the dentist gives tips on how you can further improve dental care and clarifies any deficiencies. If something is not right, the dentist recognizes the problem at an early stage and intervenes with treatment before there is any major damage.
Apart from the check-up, professional teeth cleaning is another measure of prevention and tooth preservation. Here, tartar, plaque, and discoloration in areas inaccessible to the toothbrush get away and keep the gums healthy.
Tooth preservation – what can the dentist do?
Despite good care, a tooth may be decayed, a tooth nerve is inflamed or dead, or the tooth holding apparatus degenerates. But which tooth preservation measures exist to preserve as much tooth substance as possible and avoid tooth loss?
Caries at an early stage sometimes lives with good care and fluoride. But if the damage is too deep or the surface of the tooth enamel has collapsed, we should treat the tooth decay.
The dentist removes caries and supplies the defect with a filling. Plastic is a gentle material. This forms a good bond with the tooth, as it is “glued” to the tooth enamel, so to speak. Nowadays amalgam is no longer used as a filling material because it is “wedged” in the tooth.
Partial crowns and crowns
But what options are there if the defect is too large to be filled with a filling? Depending on the size of the defect and how it is localized, the dentist can make a partial crown or a crown and restore the stability of the tooth.
They usually make a partial crown of ceramic and its shape largely corresponds to the shape of the present defect. The dentist does not have to remove any healthy tooth substance to make room for the partial crown. In contrast to the filling, the partial crown is more stable and therefore more durable.
A crown is useful when a large part of the tooth substance is missing. The shape of the crown then corresponds to that of the once healthy tooth and surrounds the remaining tooth substance to give it stability again.
Endodontics: the root canal treatment
But not only the enamel or the dentin can become ill. Inside the tooth is the pulp with nerve tissue and blood vessels that supply the tooth. For various reasons, the pulp and the tissue in it can become inflamed.
If it does not eliminate the cause of this inflammation, the dental nerve can die. This usually means that it also affects the inflammation increases and the area around the root which can cause great pain for the patient.
To still preserve the diseased tooth, the dentist must remove the dead tissue during a root canal treatment. To do this, he drills a small opening in the chewing surface of the tooth and cleans the pulp with files and rinsing solutions. After mostly successful therapy, the tooth can be closed again and thus remains intact.
Periodontics: the treatment of the gums
Teeth are firmly anchored in the bone by fibers and are protected by the gums. But when these structures become diseased, it is not just the gums that gradually recede. The jawbone also breaks down and they form deep tooth pockets. The tooth loses its stability, and the oral cavity becomes colonized by pathogenic bacteria.
To stop the breakdown of these issues and to prevent tooth loss through loosening, the dentist performs periodontal therapy. To get an overview of the condition of the jawbone and the teeth, X-rays are first made. This is followed by teeth cleaning to remove superficial plaque and to reduce the bacterial load in the oral cavity. If the teeth cleaning has not yet led to complete healing, then the tooth pockets should be cleansed, i.e. the actual periodontal therapy. The dentist or specialist in periodontology removes bacterial deposits from the root surfaces.
After they have completed the therapy, the gums can now attach themselves firmly to the tooth and the breakdown of the bone is also halted. The periodontal disease is a chronic disease and is therefore not completely curable but can be stopped only for a certain period. To ensure the success of periodontal therapy, regular check-ups, and teeth cleaning take place afterward.
Tooth preservation: prevention is important
Nothing is as good as your healthy tooth. Artificial dentures do a good job but are often inferior to natural teeth. Therefore, preventive measures to maintain dental health are especially important. However, if an illness occurs, the dentist has several therapy options available to preserve the natural teeth. Prompt treatment improves the chances of success and detailed consultation with the dentist enables the right treatment to be selected.