Dental research scientists based at the University of Alabama are in the process of conducting clinical trials of a new cavity treatment therapy called resin infiltration. This new technique may one day supplant contemporary drill and fill methods that are widely used by dentists.
The new resin infiltration protocol has received the green light from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A clinical trial that is testing out the procedure at the University of Alabama (UAB) includes over 150-volunteer patients.
Resin Infiltration: How it Works
This dental procedure involves resin infiltration medium applications on affected teeth. Currently, the study focuses on smaller cavities and caries, though this may expand to other kinds of cavities in the future.
To treat cavities, the dentist in question sanitizes and cleans cavity surfaces. The doctor then uses gels that prepare the tooth surfaces to bond with the resin.
Following this, the dentist inserts special plastic application sheets in-between the affected teeth. Once the plastic guide sheets are in place, the doctor fills the caries with the resin solution.
Lastly, the dentist cures and hardens the resin by applying special curing-lights.
Because this therapy involves no drilling, it has caught the attention of many cavity-sufferers. This widespread anti-drill sentiment is echoed by Dr. Nathaniel Lawson D.M.D., a dentist and the UAB School of Dentistry Biomaterials Director.
Dr. Lawson contends that compared to many contemporary cavity and dental carry interventions, resin infiltration methods are non-invasive.
Resin Infiltration Technologies may Provide Unique Benefits
This new technique promises to spare patients from the pain of contemporary cavity treatments. These often involve painful injections and uncomfortable bone-drillings. Plus, drilling therapies may occasionally damage deeper tooth structures.
In addition to potentially painful drilling sessions, other common treatments for cavities include scrubs and varnishes that attempt to fill these small areas of damage.
Unfortunately, these formulations often prove to be ineffective with older or deeper lesions or cavities. They can also prevent the proper healing of lower layers of affected teeth, and they may also be less than visually appealing.
In contrast, resin infiltration therapies are mild enough to be administered without anesthetics. Due to the consistency of current formulations, this technique is principally used for caries and small cavities.
Dentists use the resin material to penetrate into the porous areas of the tooth enamel, and this action can stop the local spread of tooth decay. It can also provide the dental injury with extra structural support, and it can act to keep bacteria from re-entering the damaged areas.
These features can combine to provide cavity-stricken patients with virtually pain-free fillings that are nevertheless durable and aesthetically pleasing.
Resin Infiltration: Is it the Wave of the Future?
Dental infiltration is a tested method that enjoys F.D.A. backing, and it holds the potential to permanently exempt dental patients from the potentially painful treatments of the past.
This regimen has attracted the praise of such dental professionals as Dr. Augusto Robles D.D.S., who is a dentist and an assistant professor at UAB. According to Dr. Robles, the many benefits that resin infiltration techniques provide patients may make it one of the biggest advances in the last 25-years.
Christopher is an author, blogger, and musician from Wichita, KS who has been fearful of visits with a dentist most of his life until he discovered sedation dentistry.