CAMBRA helps dental patients in Dana Point, CA avoid fillings
Posted By Dr. Mark Cruz
Given a choice, most people would prefer a full set of healthy teeth, free of dental restorations. Dr. Mark Cruz strives to preserve that choice with forward-thinking care strategies. CAMBRA is part of his commitment to helping patients in the Dana Point, CA area avoid the need for extensive dental work.
Tooth decay remains a prevalent concern
“Cavities” have been around as long as mankind has had teeth. Silver-colored amalgam fillings have been widely used in the United States since the mid-1800s to repair the damage. As a country, we started to take prevention of tooth decay more seriously after World War II with the introduction of fluoride in public water supplies, and fluoridated toothpastes targeting kids in their “cavity-prone years.”
Yet, the problem remains widespread. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 18.6 percent of children aged 5 to 19 have untreated dental caries, and 31.6 percent of adults up to age 44 have cavities. The number is much higher across some age bands and demographic segments.
How can this happen in our advanced culture? It helps to take a step back and think about the direct cause of cavities. The mouth hosts hundreds of strains of oral bacteria. Some such as mutans streptococci, Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sobrinus, and lactobacilli are primary culprits in development of tooth decay. These microscopic organisms feast on sugars left behind by your daily eating and drinking. Acidic excretions are part of their own dietary cycle. These acids break down the protective enamel of teeth, creating pinpoint holes that allow pathogens to penetrate deeper. Without attention, erosion creates a noticeable hole which reaches the inner structures of teeth.
Frequent brushing and flossing and regular dental cleanings play a big role in avoiding the food source for bacteria, and the organisms themselves, off teeth. However, modern diets are full of processed sugar, starches, and acidic beverages that exacerbate decay conditions. In addition, genetic predisposition and health status can contribute to cavities.
What’s wrong with a traditional tactic for treating dental caries?
Conventional dentistry addresses cavities after they occur, with a surgical approach. Decayed tooth structure is ground away, and damage is repaired with an amalgam or composite resin filling, or perhaps a porcelain or gold inlay, onlay or crown.
This technique restores oral function and appearance. However, the procedure is traumatic to the tooth. In addition, restoration materials have a different coefficient of expansion than biological structures. They expand and contract differently in response to temperature. The combination can lead to failed restorations and need for more extensive dental work (including possible root canal therapy) in the future.
An estimated 71 percent of restorative dental treatment are performed on teeth that have already had work done. Recurring cavities are the primary cause. That indicates that the surgical approach does not fully treat the problem by resolving risk factors.
CAMBRA approach helps Dana Point, CA dental patients break the cycle of cavities
CAMBRA, an acronym for CAries Management By Risk Assessment, is an entirely different way of tackling the problem of dental caries. Here, the focus is on prevention through an assessment of risk factors and harnessing the body’s natural abilities to heal tooth structures.
Evidence-based science has determined that successful prevention and treatment of tooth decay requires modification of the dental biofilm. That starts with a deep understanding of what is going on in your mouth and why.
Dr. Cruz conducts an evaluation of your unique risk factors and protective traits related to dental caries. This is accomplished with a detailed patient interview and oral examination.
Physical indicators of caries disease include:
Visible white spots on smooth surfaces of teeth
Recent (within three years) cavity restoration
Enamel lesions that show up in digital x-rays
Carious lesions that extend into the dentin layer
The doctor tests saliva to determine the specific types and populations of bacteria present in the mouth, and learns about your diet, lifestyle, and medical background.
This comprehensive analysis gives Dr. Cruz the exhaustive information necessary to create a personalized dental caries management plan. Imbalances may be addressed with techniques to improve quality and quantity of saliva, enamel sealants, antimicrobials, fluoride, and simple lifestyle adjustments.
With early detection, small cavities may be repaired naturally, without drilling and filling. Even more importantly, CAMBRA can break the cycle that sends a “cavity-prone” patient back to the chair again and again.
CAMBRA brings the best of science and nature together for healthier teeth. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Cruz to learn more about his dental style. The number in Dana Point, CA is (949) 661-1006.