No Drill Restorations
At Gilreath Family Dentistry in Marietta, we strive to conserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible. The smaller the cavity preparation, the more tooth we can save and the longer the filling will last. But if we can STOP decay in its tracks without removing any tooth structure, this is the best approach. In order for this to work, the decay has to be small and you must have great oral hygiene and be willing to put a little effort in at home. By actively addressing small decay areas in teeth before they grow into larger areas that need full blown fillings, we can accomplish this goal.
As you can see in this illustration, decay travels from the outside of the tooth into the first layer (called the enamel). If it is stopped at this layer, it will not proceed into the middle layer (the dentin). Many dentist have a “let’s watch it and see what happens” attitude for these small lesions. At Gilreath Family Dentistry, we are more conservative and treat the offending decay before it can progress into the middle part of the tooth (where it would have to be drilled out and a filling applied to the tooth). Dr. Gilreath and Dr. Nezafat use a number of different approaches to deal with small or “incipient” decay areas. It is important that these areas continue to be monitored at your recall visits. Our team will check the areas each time you come in to our office for a cleaning and exam to assure that the decay has stopped.
Prescription Strength Fluoride
Fluoride continues to be one of the best ways to control decay. Unfortunately, with the use of filtered water in our homes and bottled waters on the go and at work, most of us don’t get the fluoride we need. Consequently, for those who are at risk for decay and for those who have small beginning cavities, our team advocates using both home fluoride supplements (prescription strength fluoride toothpaste) and fluoride varnish applied at your cleanings. It’s inexpensive and it works! It’s the best money you can spend on preventing decay. Our team may also recommend products with Xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar that is found in plants. It has the ability to slow down or stop decay as well. It’s been used in Europe since the 1960s and the FDA approved it for use in American several years ago.
Silver Diamine Fluoride
In 2017, the FDA approved a new type of fluoride product called Silver Diamine Fluoride. Besides having the beneficial fluoride, it has a silver component to it that can filter into an active cavity and help stop it. The benefit is that it can stop a cavity or greatly slow it down without any drilling. The only negative is that it turns the cavity black. So we typically only use this product in very young children or adolescents or in much older adults for which we are trying to do limited treatment. There are situations, however, where we will give other patients the option of using SDF if we think it will benefit them. In our practice, we will give you options and listen to what you’d like to do. SDF is a great adjunct to our conservative dental practice.
ICON in our Dental Practice
For small in between the teeth beginning cavities, we can sometimes use a new patented process that infiltrates resin into small “incipient” decay lesions in teeth. The process requires no drilling or anesthesia and is completely conservative since it does not remove any tooth structure. The material is called ICON. This technique is very cutting edge and has been used in Europe for several years. The process is FDA approved. Gilreath Family Dentistry is proud to be an ICON provider and we continue to provide the most best dentistry in the most conservative manner available. If you would like to be in a dental practice that values conservative approaches and to see if ICON would work for you, please contact our Marietta No Drill Restoration Experts today for a FREE, no obligation consultation.