Preventive Resin Restorations – What are They and How Can They Help You? Part 3

This post is the third in a series on what preventive resin restorations (PRRs) are, who they can benefit most, how they function, and how they are applied. If you haven’t read parts 1 and 2 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.

How are preventive resin restorations made? (continued)

The first step in making preventive resin restorations is to completely clean and dry the tooth. This is because any saliva or other contaminants will interfere with the process. Next, the dentist will apply a solution to the surface of the teeth that is specially formulated to help the resin bond. After another rinse and dry, the dentist will carefully paint the resin onto the teeth. Some resins are designed to dry on their own, while others are formulated to cure when exposed to a specific wavelength of light. If you have to wear sunglasses for this part of the procedure, that’s because the wavelength required to cure the resin is in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum. Don’t worry – it’s not powerful enough to give your gums a sunburn! It’s desirable to design resin that cures under UV light because there isn’t much UV in a dentist’s office. That way they can get the PRRs just right and cure it when they’re ready.

UV curing light for preventive resin restorations pictured

How long do preventive resin restorations last?

With proper care, preventive resin restorations can last decades. This is because the resin they are composed of is very similar – in some cases the same – as what is used to fill cavities. Of course, preventive resin restorations won’t change the fact that you’ll need good dental habits to keep your smile healthy. Regular brushing and flossing and avoiding things that could mechanically damage your PRRs – like chewing ice – will ensure you get the most possible life out of them.

Speaking of flossing, it’s particularly important to keep up with your flossing routine with PRRs. They cover the surfaces of your teeth, but they won’t help in between teeth – that’s the domain of floss.

Want to learn more about PRRs? Check out our page on preventive resin restorations.

Ready to book a consultation and find out if PRRs are right for you? Call the office today or use our contact form.

Preventive Resin Restorations – What are They and How Can They Help You? Part 2

This post is the second in a series on what preventive resin restorations (PRRs) are, who they can benefit most, how they function, and how they are applied. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.

Who is a candidate for preventive resin restorations? (continued)

In fact, often the best time to apply preventive resin restorations is when the tooth first erupts from the gum, before bacteria has had time to cause any decay.

Preventive resin restorations help keep a great smile

Preserving tooth structure and bone mass

When it comes to adult teeth, once bone mass has been lost, be it to decay, damage, or dental procedures, it can never be replaced. Because of this, dentists are very concerned with how to keep as much bone mass as possible, whether it be through minimally invasive treatment or preventive measures. This is why PRRs can be so beneficial, and why so many dentists like them. On completely healthy teeth, like those that have just erupted from the gum, PRRs can preserve almost all of the original bone mass of the tooth, protecting them from erosive decay. If some decay is present, it will have to be removed before the restoration can be applied, but the PRRs will prevent it from progressing. Any time a dentist can preserve bone mass in the teeth, that’s a big win.

How are preventive resin restorations installed made?

Before PRRs can be placed, any decay must be removed. This isn’t an issue in newly erupted teeth, but if the tooth has been there awhile and the patient is cavity prone (which is likely since that’s usually why they’re getting PRRs in the first place) then oftentimes some decay will have to be removed.

Check back soon for Preventive Resin Restorations – What are They and How Can They Help You? Part 3. In the meantime, take a look at our page on preventive resin restorations.

Preventive Resin Restorations – What are They and How Can They Help You? Part 1

Preventive Resin Restorations – Stopping Cavities Before They Start

Preventive resin restorations – or PRRs – seal up cavity prone surfaces of the teeth, preventing decay and avoiding potentially costly and uncomfortable fillings down the road. They blend in with the natural appearance of your teeth, and don’t affect their function in any way.

What are preventive resin restorations?

PRRs are made by applying a hard, tooth colored compound (resin) to areas where cavities are likely to form in the mouth. Generally speaking, they are applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth, but the recessed and uneven surfaces of the back molars are of particular interest to dentists when placing PRRs. This is because the pockets of these teeth can hold onto food and form a favorable environment for bacteria growth and tooth decay. As much as 75% of tooth decay occurs in these areas. (1) PRRs are also applied to cracks and chips in teeth that might be present in an individual patient’s mouth, as these areas are also highly likely to form cavities.

Preventive resin restorations help keep a great smile

Who is a candidate for preventive resin restorations?

Preventive resin restorations could benefit almost anybody, but they’re only worthwhile if you think you might get cavities. Of course, some people are more prone to cavities than others, due to both genetic factors like stability of enamel, and environmental factors like their oral hygiene habits. If a trip to the dentist usually results in getting new fillings for you, then you might be a good candidate for PRRs.

PRRs can also be used in children and teens. Generally speaking, these populations are more prone to cavities than adults, so PRRs can be very beneficial for them.

Check back soon for Preventive Resin Restorations – What are They and How Can They Help You? Part 2. In the meantime, take a look at our page on preventive resin restorations.

Source cited

1 – https://www.dentalexcellencegreenbay.com/whats-the-difference-between-dental-fillings-prr-sealants/

Combating dental anxiety and odontophobia: painless anesthetic delivery and conscious sedation – Part 4

This post is the fourth in a series on combating dental anxiety with painless anesthetic delivery and conscious sedation. If you haven’t read parts 1 – 3, I recommend you do before continuing.

Conscious sedation (continued)

Many practitioners use intravenous medication in conscious sedation. Dr. Abeyta and her team; however, use orally administered medication, or medication given through a mask.

Young woman relaxed at the dentist. painless anesthetic delivery

To better understand conscious sedation, let’s take a look at the levels of sedation and what they look like:

  • Mild sedation – under minimal sedation, the patient will be relaxed but still conscious. They will remember the procedure and be able to understand and respond to instructions. While the patient must be closely monitored, supplemental oxygen is not required at this level of sedation.
  • Moderate sedation – under moderate sedation, many people fall asleep easily. However, they will awake just as easily when spoken to or touched. Their memory of the procedure may be foggy, and they generally won’t be able to understand or follow instructions. The patient must be closely monitored and oxygen may be used at the deeper levels of moderate sedation.
  • Deep sedation – under deep sedation, the patient will sleep through the procedure. They will have little or no memory of the procedure. They will be unresponsive to instructions. The patient will be very closely monitored, often with multiple sensors placed on the body to track respiration, heart rate, and blood oxygenation. Supplemental oxygen is used often in deep sedation.

 

Conscious sedation deals with mild and moderate sedation. However, no two people respond the exact same way to sedation, so it’s critical that the patient is constantly and closely monitored regardless of the level of sedation. For the vast majority of patients, even those with moderate to severe odontophobia, moderate sedation will be sufficient to overcome their fear and anxiety so they can get the treatment they need.

Combating dental anxiety and odontophobia: painless anesthetic delivery and conscious sedation – Part 3

This post is the third in a series on combating dental anxiety with painless anesthetic delivery and conscious sedation. If you haven’t read parts 1 and 2 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.

Painless anesthetic delivery (continued)

The Wand (continued)

The Wand’s computer assist system has two main functions. First, it precisely controls the flow and pressure of anesthetic. This means it can be used to anesthetize in a highly efficient manner, using no more fluid than is necessary. This decreases patient discomfort and allows for highly targeted numbing – no more leaving the dentist’s office after a procedure with half of your face numb!

happy dental patient pictured. painless anesthetic delivery

DentalVibe

DentalVibe is another great tool for delivering anesthetic without pain. Unlike The Wand, DentalVibe doesn’t deliver anesthetic. Instead, it is used to apply vibration to the area where the injection will take place. It may sound a bit strange, but numerous studies have shown that this vibration overwhelms the nerve that would carry pain signals to the brain. Instead of feeling the pain and discomfort of the injection, all the patient feels is a light buzzing in their mouth. According to their website, “95% of the patients that have experienced the DentalVibe Injection Comfort System say that it has changed their view on going to the dentist.” (1)

Conscious Sedation

Conscious sedation is another invaluable tool in providing dental care to those with dental anxiety and odontophobia, especially in cases of moderate or severe odontophobia. Sometimes also called sedation dentistry or sedation analgesia, conscious sedation involves the use of pharmaceuticals to relieve fear and anxiety, combined with anesthesia to prevent pain once it’s time for the procedure to begin.

Check back soon for Combating dental anxiety and odontophobia: painless anesthetic delivery and conscious sedation – Part 4! In the meantime, check out our page on painless anesthetic delivery.

Source cited:

1 – https://www.dentalvibe.com/how-it-works/

Combating dental anxiety and odontophobia: painless anesthetic delivery and conscious sedation – Part 2

This post is the second in a series on combating dental anxiety with painless anesthetic delivery and conscious sedation. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.

The importance of treating dental anxiety (continued)

The first and most common consequence of avoiding the dentist is chronic pain. Many sufferers of dental anxiety and odontophobia report living with mouth pain daily for months or even years before seeking treatment. Nobody should have to deal with this kind of pain when the answers to their problem are out there.

If left untreated, a cavity can escalate into a more and more dire condition, and can even be fatal. Over time, it will grow into an abscess, often between the teeth and gums. If the patient continues to avoid treatment, the infection can pass into the bone marrow or bloodstream, spreading to the major organs, causing sepsis, and eventually even death.

dental anxiety cartoon - dental anxiety - painless anesthetic delivery - conscious sedation

There is help for odontophobia sufferers of all levels

Painless anesthetic delivery

For many sufferers of dental anxiety and odontophobia, their fear of the dentist stems from a fear of needles, or anticipation of the pain and discomfort that accompanies a numbing shot. This is where painless anesthetic delivery comes in. With modern painless anesthetic delivery technology, we can make it so the patient won’t even feel the needle going in. Of course, once we can get the numbing agent in, they won’t feel the rest of the procedure either. Dr. Abeyta uses two tools to deliver anesthetic without pain: the Wand and DentalVibe.

The Wand

The wand is a computer assisted system for delivering local anesthesia. It is a highly precise tool, so much so that it can be used to delivery tightly contained numbness. The makers of the Wand call this technique Single Tooth Anesthesia (STA).

Check back soon for Combating dental anxiety and odontophobia: painless anesthetic delivery and conscious sedation – Part 3! In the meantime, check out our page on painless anesthetic delivery.