Preventative resins are a way to protect your teeth from future decay and cavity formation. When a cavity is beginning to form, a preventative resin restoration (PRR) can be applied to repair the tooth and prevent further damage. A PRR is similar to a dental sealant (a composite resin painted on chewing surfaces to seal out bacteria).


Who Should Get Preventative Resins?

Preventative resins are used in a variety of patients when a tooth is just beginning to suffer the effects of decay. When tooth decay begins to form, it must be treated immediately to avoid damage to the rest of the tooth. Cavities that are left untreated can even affect the surrounding healthy teeth and result in a dangerous infection or abscess. Dental sealants are often used on the molars of children and teens who haven't experienced decay yet. It is believed that teeth are more likely to decay during these years. Preventative resins can be used on patients of any age that have teeth particularly susceptible to cavities. There are two main reasons preventative resins are applied:

  • Reparation of minor cavities - When a cavity is just beginning to form it only affects a very small part of the tooth. The decay is removed then a plastic resin is flowed into the empty space to act as a filling and protectant for the damaged tooth.

  • Prevention of future cavities in trouble spots - Sometimes, the chewing surfaces of molars have grooves and pits that are too deep for a toothbrush to reach. Decay usually forms in these deep grooves which eventually leads to cavities. A PRR fills and protects these deep pits to prevent future buildup of plaque and decay.


Benefits of Preventative Resin Restoration 

When your dentist recommends a preventative resin restoration, your cavity was diagnosed early. This is good news because there hasn't been time for the damage to spread deep into the affected tooth. At this stage, treatment can be applied without you even experiencing a toothache. There are many benefits to having a preventative resin applied.

  • It matches your natural teeth. Since the resin used for restoration is clear or tooth-colored, it is invisible when you talk and smile.
  • PRR is less expensive than more aggressive future treatments. Cavities spread damage deep into your teeth. Early prevention can help you avoid painful cavities and treatments.
  • The tooth is protected from further damage. Since a PRR protects while it repairs, your repaired tooth will be protected from future decay for years.
  • The process is quick and painless. Reparation of a minor cavity does not reach the tooth's nerve making the procedure completely painless.
  • It lasts for years. With good dental habits, a PRR can last for several years.
  • Children and teens who have PRRs and sealants applied are more likely to continue to experience dental health into adulthood. Since new teeth are more likely to have a buildup of decay and plaque, the protection received during childhood gives enamel time to mature.


The Procedure

A preventative resin restoration is a simple procedure that only takes a few minutes for each tooth. First, decay is removed and stains are cleaned from the pits of the affected tooth. Surfaces are then dried and prepared for dental resin. The material flows from a small syringe into the prepared space where it bonds to the tooth's surface. A UV light is used to harden the resin for the final finish.

If you think your teeth may benefit from preventative resins or dental sealants, contact us today. The friendly professional team at Stuart Prosthetic Dentistry is happy to answer all of your questions and schedule a dental examination.