Tooth decay afflicts 99% of us. With this in mind, you might say that cavities are almost inevitable. Of course, brushing and flossing daily, drinking plenty of water, and limiting starches and sugars will help deter tooth decay. Attending regular six-month checkups will also help. And you should know, checkups have changed as technology has evolved. Dr. Jeffrey Allen now uses Spectra, a revolutionary laser caries detection system that detects tooth decay (dental caries) in the very earliest stage, called demineralization.
Before bacteria can invade a tooth and initiate decay, tooth enamel must be compromised. Human tooth enamel is the second hardest naturally occurring substance on the planet, next only to diamonds. However, when minerals are sapped from tooth enamel because of acids in the mouth, enamel softens and cavities (not yet decay) form. In these vulnerable areas, bacteria invade – Streptococcus mutans, to be precise – and the bacteria cause tooth decay.
With Spectra, Dr. Allen can find the vulnerable, demineralized spots on tooth enamel. He can recommend remineralizing, which might involve a fluoride rinse. Fluoride attracts enamel-strengthening minerals. In most cases, however, remineralization is a stretch. It simply may not work as planned. Often, a tiny filling is the best way to thwart demineralization before a cavity forms. You’ll like this part: these tiny, surface fillings usually don’t require an anesthetic injection. They’re superficial. In a matter of minutes, Dr. Allen can address the problem, and you can avoid getting a “real” cavity.
Conservative dentistry is the best dentistry. If you’re prone to plaque buildup or tooth decay, talk with Dr. Allen about ways to improve your oral health. Call Allen Family Dentistry in Pella, IA today at 641-640-1121. Our family dentist office is located in Pella, and we have many patients from Knoxville, Oskaloosa, Monroe, Newton, and surrounding communities in central Iowa.