Many patients, no matter their efforts to maintain their oral health, find themselves suffering from cavities (tooth decay). If you are at a higher risk for tooth decay, but your tooth only has staining, very mild or early decay, Dr. Tyler and his team may suggest a preventative resin restoration (PRR).
What is a Preventative Resin Restoration (PRR)?
A PRR is a very shallow filling for a cavity that has barely begun. A PRR repairs damage that has already been done to the tooth and also protects the tooth from further decay.
Think of a PRR as a thicker, stronger version of a dental sealant. A sealant is a protective covering for a decay-free tooth. A PRR is used to stop early decay when it is too late for a sealant, but a regular filling is not needed yet. The PRR acts as a combination of a filling and a sealant.
Why are Preventative Resins Needed?
Once tooth decay starts, it must be treated. It usually only gets worse. An abscess (pus-filled sac) from a cavity can cause serious or even life-threatening infections when not properly treated.
In some teeth, the pits and grooves are too deep for a toothbrush to clean, allowing decay to start in these areas. A PRR prevents early decay from going deeper into a tooth’s pits and grooves. A PRR can block food and cavity-causing bacteria from getting into these grooves. It also can help lessen the need for bigger fillings and more expensive treatments. It is much simpler and more affordable to treat early decay than to fix a badly decayed tooth.
How are PRRs applied?
PRRs are easy to apply. It only takes a few minutes to treat each tooth. First, the pits and grooves, stained or decayed parts of the tooth and are cleaned/removed. These surfaces are prepared to help the resin material (dental composite) stick to the tooth. Then the material is flowed into the prepared surfaces where it bonds to the tooth. Finally, special UV light is used to make the PRR harden. PRRs are tooth-colored and usually cannot be seen when you smile or talk.
How Long Do PRRs Last?
PRRs often last several years before they need replacement. However, the lifespan of these restorations depends on your commitment to effective and regular dental care (at-home and professional) and other oral habits, like teeth grinding.
During regular visits, Dr. Tyler will check your PRRs and recommend treatment if needed. Professional dental hygiene visits and regular dental exams will help keep your mouth healthy.
Who Should Get A PRR?
PRRs are usually applied to permanent teeth in children and adults when these teeth have staining, very mild or early decay. PRRs are often used on molars (large back teeth). The deep pits and grooves in molars are prone to decay and should be protected.
If you find yourself being prone to cavities or see staining on your back teeth then don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Tyler and his team if preventative resin restoration is an option for you.
For any further questions about PRRs please do not hesitate to ask us.