Decays and Biocompatibility Testing

tooth decayA cavity or also known as ¨tooth decay¨ is the destruction of the tooth enamel, which is the hard outer layer of your teeth. You may be asking yourselves, how does a cavity form? It all starts with the accumulation of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria formed on your teeth. When you eat or drink foods containing plenty of sugars, the bacteria that are in the plaque produces acids that attack the tooth´s enamel. What happens next is that the stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth and throughout the time, the enamel can break down. This is when cavities are formed and when you start feeling a little hole in your tooth.

To help prevent tooth decay, follow these few but helpful tips:

  • Brush to two or three times a day
  • Use dental floss every day
  • Eat nutritious and balanced meals (limit snacking)
  • Check with your dentist about the use of dental sealants (a plastic protective coating) applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (where decay often starts) to protect them from decay.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.

The big question, how to treat a cavity?

  1. To start off, a dentist will first numb the area where he or she will treat the tooth.
  2. After that, an instrument must be used to remove the decayed part of the tooth.
  3. Instruments that are typically used include a laser, drill or air abrasion instrument. With the cavity opened up, the dentist must inspect the tooth to make sure that the entire decayed area of tooth has been removed.
  4. The cavity must then be cleaned to create space for the filling.
  5. After the dentist fills the tooth, he or she must polish and try to match the original anatomy of the tooth.

Dental filling materials are full of substances that some immune systems tend to react to. A very helpful and healthy option when removing a decayed tooth is the biocompatibility test. The purpose of this test is to determine which materials are the safest to place in your specific body and least challenging for your immune system and use them in the process. This is helpful due to that it helps to see options of dental replacement materials that will not upset your immune system any more than the necessary.

Written by: Marisa Santoyo Martinez Rios