Biomimetic Dental Course| Lesson 2: How do Cavities Occur and How to Prevent Them
8 months ago
Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics
Lesson 2 of dr Matt Nejad's Biomimetic Dental Course covers the cavity process (aka "caries") and how to treat + prevent them long term with restorations that conserve natural tooth structure and form a strong, secure, biological seal.
Lesson 2 - Cavities Tooth decay is a process known as caries. This process requires 2 major components: 1) Cavity causing bacteria and 2) A carbohydrate nutrition source. This is very important! Bacteria alone do not produce cavities. A source of carbohydrates is required. The bacteria produce acid as a by-product when they digest carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates do not mean only sugar! It can include starchy foods, fruits, bread, etc.
CARIES PROCESS OVERVIEW A healthy clean tooth is at low risk for cavity because there is no source of carbohydrates available. When plaque is left behind, the food and bacteria are combined together and have all the components necessary to produce acid and result in demineralization.
DEMINERALIZATION AND REMINERALIZATION Demineralization results in damage to the tooth and results in cavities. Fortunately, your saliva is able to neutralize and balance the effects of demineralization with a process called remineralization. However, the ability to remineralize is limited and if this limit is exceeded, the tooth will eventually have a cavity.
CAVITIES Once there is substantial demineralization, a cavity will form in the region of the demineralization. At this point, there is no ability to regrow or remineralize this area, and treatment is required. Therefore, it is important to realize that cavities can be avoided and intercepted prior to needing any filling or more major dental restoration.
BIOMIMETIC APPROACH The goal of the biomimetic approach is to restore only the damaged and affected areas of your teeth, but not to drill or shave away any additional healthy tooth structure. Conserving this healthy tooth structure is very important in order to keep your teeth for life and avoid extractions, root canals, and implants. in contrast, the traditional approach to treating teeth with large cavities involves shaving away additional tooth structure so that the tooth can be fitted with a crown. We will cover this technique in a later part of this course, but for now it is VERY IMPORTANT to recognize that this is completely unnecessary.