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Biocompatible Dentistry, a Holistic approach by NYC Dental office

Biocompatible Dentistry is when dental providers take a holistic approach to treat the entire patient rather than just a tooth.  It also means considering the carefully the implications materials which we use on our patients.  Treating patients with the most up to date equipment and techniques.  By using most natural products our team strives to help improve our patients’ health and well-being.

Which Dental Fillings are Best for my health?

At Smile Arts of NY we use only use resin composite fillings or “white” dental fillings as people often call them.  For health and environmental reasons we do not think it’s necessary to use amalgam or “silver” fillings.   The composite dental fillings are proven to have excellent strength and longevity when properly bonded to tooth structure. 

When Should I get my fillings replaced?

Whether or not to replace a dental filling is a determination to be made between the patient and the dentist.  We recommend to come in every 6 months to have every tooth examined and cleaned.  The dentist will check your teeth for cavities.  Fillings should be checked for leakage, breakage, and recurrent cavities….. It’s important to establish a relationship with a dentist you trust to look after your dental health on a consistent basis.  Two exams and cleanings per year is recommended by dental health experts.

Will I need x-rays to check my fillings’ health?

We follow the recommendations from the ADA Guidelines to determine the amount of x-ray exposures to take each visit.  Our office is very conservative with the amount of exposures for each visit.  Our dental office, Smile Arts of NY, uses digital x-rays machines that emit less than 90% of the radiation from traditional machines. 

Holistic Dental filling

Should All Amalgam Fillings be replaced?

We do not believe all mercury containing fillings need to be replaced.  At Smile Arts of NY we recommend to replace fillings when they’ve failed due to breakage, leakage, or recurrent cavities.   In our office we only place the white composite fillings.  But we are not recommending everyone to get their fillings replaced either.  Studies show the greatest exposure to mercury happens when placing the filling or removing the filling.  When the filling is contained within a tooth experts believe it not to cause harm as shown by research as all the components are contained within the tooth.

Should I save my tooth with a root canal?

In our dental office we believe that it’s worth saving teeth with a root canal when needed.  Root canal procedure when done well will remove the infected tissue within the roots of a tooth.   Dentists carefully disinfect the roots of the tooth and seal the space within the roots with medication to keep the bacteria infection from coming back.  In general, a tooth that’s had a root canal and a crown can last well over 10 years.

Is it possible for Root canals to get infected?

Although root canals have a success rate over 90% when done well.  A small percentage of root canals will fail.  A root canal can fail because of a tooth fracture or the bacterial infection wasn’t removed completely.  In these circumstances we usually recommend for the tooth to be evaluated by a specialist, called an endodontist, who will determine if the tooth can be saved or if it’s better to extract.

Why go through a root canal when the tooth will have to get pulled eventually?

A successful root canal tooth may last 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years.  A small percentage will even fail within a year.   It’s impossible to predict the longevity of a root canal tooth.  However, most root canal treated teeth that get a dental crown can last over 10 years.

Our dentists are dedicated to saving teeth because nothing will ever feel like a natural tooth.  We believe in conservative dentistry.    Dental implants are an amazing technology with over a 90% success rate.  But every procedure, including dental implants, can fail as well.  A successful implant may last as long as a successful root canal.   Dental implants are a wonderful technology for replacing missing teeth, however it is possible for dental implants can get complications as well.  There are entire text books dedicated to many possible dental implant complications. 

root canal on molar tooth
Root canal on a molar tooth. Roots are well sealed and disinfected
Root canal molar tooth
Completed root canal of an upper Molar tooth
two dental implants x-ray

Should I replace a missing tooth with a dental implant?

Dental implants are an amazing technology.  Dental Implants are the best way to replace missing teeth.  In the past dentists used to shave down adjacent teeth to make dental bridges.  A bridge would fail because of cavities or periodontal disease after about 8 years.  The previously shaved down teeth would need root canals or extractions to make a new bridge.  If a tooth was extracted, the new bridge would likely need to include more teeth. So now more healthy teeth would need to be shaved down for a new bridge.  Not only was this expensive, but the patient would eventually be left completely without teeth in their 50s or 60s.  These people would end up wearing a denture

Dental Implant vs. Bridge
Dental Implants vs. Dental Bridge

The best advantage of dental implants is that they do not require additional teeth to be shaved down unnecessarily.  An implant stand completely by itself without relying on other teeth for support. If there’s ever an issue with an implant or a nearby tooth, these can be treated separately.  It’s much more predictable and less expensive to have dental dental work on just one tooth, rather than a bunch.