If teeth contain cavities, they will slowly rot away. To prevent this, dentist will often drill into teeth to remove the rotting, unhealthy part of the tooth, which is then replaced by a composite or metal filling. Many people do not enjoy these treatments, and some even postpone visiting the dental office out of fear (dental phobia). If you experience fear or concerns, it might help to look into other ways to repair your teeth, before it is deemed necessary for your dentist to drill away your tooth decay.
Below are some examples of alternative repair methods. Be sure to closely consider which option is best for you and of course, discuss your options with your dentist or health professional.
In dentistry, the demand has increased for biomimetic restorative materials and methods. Different products, materials and methods are now in development or have already been introduced. It is believed these are effective in restoring teeth by dental tissue remineralisation of enamel and dentin.
The mechanism of teeth remineralisation has been known for years in the dentist industry. For example, a study in the sixties observed remineralisation from saliva. It has only gotten more attention among the public these last few years, as more people experience a lot of dentist procedures as invasive and unnatural.
There are currently several researchers working on developing methods that can promote the remineralisation process. These are either oral hygiene products with biomimetic components aimed at restoring enamel and dentin, or Biomimetic restorative materials and methods aim at imitating a natural process of repairing dental tissue. These are some examples:
Toothpastes with novamin (calcium sodium phosphosilicate), a bioactive glass. It contains oxides of calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and silicon. These essential ions are released into your saliva, raising the pH of the mouth and creating the conditions needed for remineralization.
According to scientists at King’s College London (UK) drilling and filling will no longer be needed. They have studied the influence of electrical currents on teeth repair. Earlier research has shown that this creates limescale. In this manner damaged coral reefs can also be repaired quickly. With the new EAER (Electrically Accelerated and Remineralisation Enhanced) technique, damaged teeth may themselves create calcium and phosphate in order to fill the cavities.
This is done as follows: after a brief treatment of the enamel, a small electrode is placed on the tooth which starts issuing electrical impulses. These impulses stimulate an acceleration of the natural production process of calcium and phosphate. The tooth will repel its decaying part and replace it with new enamel.
The company that will be delivering this technique, endeavours to be able to supply it to dental clinics by 2017.
A dental product system is available in which liquid “intelligent protein molecules’ form a matrix in a lesion or cavity in which subsequently calcium and phosphate from the saliva repair the tooth decay. Due to this bio-mineralization tooth material forms which is similar to natural enamel and dentin.
There is another restorative product which claims to completely replace both the crown and the root. It’s based on biocompatible and bioactive materials which promote the remineralisation of dentin and healing of the pulp. It preserves the vitality of the pulp, because it stimulates the pulpacellen to form dentin.
Discussion: Is the focus on prevention more important?
Many dental experts believe the focus on repair methods takes away the attention prevention should receive. You can have a remineralisation of a cavity, but when plaque formation occurs in the same place, enamel and dentin may be affected again. They find that patients are better served by addressing the cause of cavities by applying good oral hygiene.
They claim it is much more effective to give the patient instructions to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Should there still grow a lesion into a cavity, it can simply be filled with composite. The new methods to remineralise seem a bit of an overkill and might make dentistry unnecessarily expensive.
They argue that the emphasis should lie on proper brushing and fluoride applications, which are cheaper. Moreover, the wrong signal is given to patients, namely that the dentist with these new resources constantly repairs something repeatedly while the patient himself won’t have to change their habits.
Homemade Alternative Repair Methods
Apart from the methods above that you might encounter in a dental clinic, there are people that have found homemade remedies to repair tooth decay. Here are some examples:
Oil Pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice whereby oil is swished through the mouth. Toxins are drawn from your oral mucosa and harmful bacteria are neutralized. People have experienced beneficial results like healthier gums, whiter teeth, the fastening of loose teeth and repairing the start of tooth decay.
Because tooth decay is linked to demineralisation and eating too much sugar and starch, special nutritional programs have been developed to counteract this effect. One of the best known examples are of Ramiel Nagel, explained in his book “Cure Tooth Decay” and of Dr. Weston A. Price at the Weston Price Foudation. They both describe nutritional guidelines and supplements that will remineralize teeth and stop the decay.
Activated carbon (also known as activated charcoal) is made of burned plant materials that is after a number of processes cleaned of all impurities and is transformed into a material with tiny pores that attracts all toxins in its surrounding area.
It is not absorbed by the body, and passes through the digestive tract so that chemicals and toxins adhering to the activated carbon leave your system.
It is often used as an alternative toothpaste because it whitens teeth, prevents gum disease, kills bacteria and reverses small tooth decay.
With these introductions to alternative ways for healing teeth you can now start your own research process, and experiment to discover which method has the best effect on your teeth.
Olivia is a stay at home mother from Australia and founder of www.EveryHomeRemedy.com. Olivia holds Bachelor of Applied Science (Ex. Sci.) and believes in self-sustaining, eco-friendly family life and hopes to inspire others in their pursuit of the same.