Kęstučio Street 79-7,
LT - 44299 Kaunas, Lithuania
Tel.:    +370 37 797668
Mob.:  +370 682 10405
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Working hours

I - V 08:00-19:00

Tooth treatment and filling

 Therapeutic treatment

This refers to the reconstruction of damaged teeth;, traditionally called filling. Our clinic uses a wide range of high quality filling materials that achieve the best result in any situation.

In scientific terms, tooth decay is a unique disease of hard tooth structure, caused by diet and bacteria, resulting in dissolved and destroyed calcified tissues. Dental carries is caused by specific micro-organisms, fuelled by carbohydrates, that affect teeth for a certain period of time. Neither of these two factors (not carbohydrates nor micro-organisms) can cause tooth decay separately.

How do micro-organisms appear in the mouth? Originally, a baby’s mouth is sterile; micro-organisms are spread through direct contact with the saliva of adults. Research indicates that mouth streptococcus and negative bacteria are transferred to a baby mainly from the mother. And this infection can be avoided.

Thus tooth decay, essentially, is a set of chemical reactions. It starts with a piece of decay-generating food and ends in a cavity if not stopped. The end results of these chemical reactions depend on the balance of decay triggering and protection factors. Until a cavity forms, this process is reversible, and the decay may be healed.

Hard tooth structure is damaged when the above mentioned factors affect them constantly and for a prolonged period of time. Clinically invisible decay at an ultrastructural level forms in 2-3 weeks under the most favourable conditions. The decay may already be visible with the naked eye after a month or slightly longer. Cavities are a delayed symptom of decay. In the case of active decay, dental cavities form in 6-18 months.

How does tooth decay form?

The principle of the dental decay process is essentially simple:

  1. Oral plague bacteria ferment carbohydrates (in the human mouth) and produce organic acids, including lactic, formic, acetic, and propionic.

  2. Acids penetrate into enamel, dentin, and cementus, and partially dissolve mineral crystals.

  3. Minerals (calcium and phosphates) come out of the tooth, and if the process is not stopped, a cavity forms.

  4. Demineralisation may be a reversible process, if the environment offers enough calcium, phosphates, and fluorine. They penetrate into teeth and cover remaining crystals in the damaged places; if the decay has still not reached the cavity stage (this process is called remineralisation).

  5. The new surface of mineral crystals is much more resistant to acids compared to the initial carbonaceous hydroxyapatite mineral.

  6. The demineralisation and remineralisation processes usually take place many times per day, thus several results are possible: a cavity forms, the damage is reversed, or the status quo remains.

Pathological factors

Acidogenic bacteria

Frequent consumption of fermentable carbohydrates

Reduced function of saliva

     Protective factors

     Saliva abundance and composition

     Proteins, antibacterial preparations

     Fluorine, calcium, phosphates

     Protective dietary components

     Non-decay-generating sweeteners

 No decay


Decay forms in specific places: on masticatory surfaces (especially at the time of erupting), between teeth, between the contact point of teeth and gums, on flat surfaces of teeth, and the edge of gums, - everywhere where favourable conditions for long-term accumulation and incubation of plague form. Such areas are not cleaned by the tongue, checks or rough food; they are also difficult to clean with a toothbrush. But chemically they do not differ from other parts of the teeth.

Thus, in general patients should know the following things:

Good oral hygiene is necessary in order to keep demineralisation and remineralization processes in balance. Good oral hygiene consists of the following things: quality cleaning of teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste, cleaning of areas between teeth with a special toothbrush or floss, and rinsing with dental hygiene mouthwash.

Frequent (every 6-12 months) preventive visits to the odontologists are necessary.

Visit the odontologist if you notice changes in the colour of teeth or have toothache in order to fight decay at the initial stage.

What will happen if we do not treat active tooth decay?

If you don’t see the odontologists in time, progressive tooth decay may develop into complications such as damage of the dental nerve (pulp). First of all, we have the inflammation of nerve, pulpitis, which develops into pulp necrosis if untreated, and then deteriorates into apical periodontitis, when micro-organisms cause apical changes. Thus, the earlier we stop the disease, the easier the treatment and the better the prognosis will be.

Tooth decay is treated in the following way:

Patients are given local anaesthesia.

The tooth is isolated.

Decay-affected tissues are removed.

The cavity is closed with filling material.

This publication has been prepared using the odontology textbook Klinikinė odontologija by I. Balčiūnienė, 2009