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Preventive Dental Resin Restorations

Updated: Apr 2


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What are preventive dental resin restorations?

Resin restorations are a preventive option for fighting tooth decay. They consist of a hard, tooth colored compound applied to areas of the teeth that are particularly prone to decay. They can be used in both adults and children, and offer some distinct advantages over other types of preventive dental care.

There are some fissures and pits in teeth that are simply too narrow and deep to be cleaned by brushing or flossing. This is particularly true of the first permanent molars kids get, but also occurs in other teeth. A dental resin restoration seals these fissures, keeping out plaque, acid, and decay causing bacteria – and therefore preventing cavities.


Preventive resin restorations are tough, invisible, and last for years.


How are preventive dental resin restorations applied?

The first step in placing a preventive resin restoration is to ensure the area is completely clean. This is critical, as keeping out any bacteria is the whole point of the restoration. If there are any cavities, they will have to be drilled before the restoration can be applied. However, if you don’t have any cavities, you likely won’t need any drilling at all before your restoration can be applied.


Next, Dr. Snyder will paint on the resin compound. The compound is designed so that it remains a liquid until exposed to a specific wavelength of light. Once everything is ready, the restoration is hardened in moments with a light wand.


When Are Preventive Resin Restorations Appropriate?

Preventive resin restorations can be used in a range of cases. For adults, a restoration can be used on any deep fissures or hard to reach places that may exist in the mouth. In children, the adult molars can be sealed as soon as they come in. This is often done because these early adult molars are highly prone to cavities. In cavity prone patients, many teeth may be fitted with restorations.


Preserving Tooth Structure And Bone Mass

When it comes to adult teeth, once bone mass has been lost, be it to decay, damage, or dental procedures, it can never be replaced. Because of this, dentists are very concerned with how to keep as much bone mass as possible, whether it be through minimally invasive treatment or preventive measures. This is why PRRs can be so beneficial, and why so many dentists like them. On completely healthy teeth, like those that have just erupted from the gum, PRRs can preserve almost all of the original bone mass of the tooth, protecting them from erosive decay. If some decay is present, it will have to be removed before the restoration can be applied, but the PRRs will prevent it from progressing. Any time a dentist can preserve bone mass in the teeth, that’s a big win.

How Are Preventive Resin Restorations Made?

Before PRRs can be placed, any decay must be removed. This isn’t an issue in newly erupted teeth, but if the tooth has been there awhile and the patient is cavity prone (which is likely since that’s usually why they’re getting PRRs in the first place) then oftentimes some decay will have to be removed.


The first step in making preventive resin restorations is to completely clean and dry the tooth. This is because any saliva or other contaminants will interfere with the process. Next, the dentist will apply a solution to the surface of the teeth that is specially formulated to help the resin bond. After another rinse and dry, the dentist will carefully paint the resin onto the teeth. Some resins are designed to dry on their own, while others are formulated to cure when exposed to a specific wavelength of light. If you have to wear sunglasses for this part of the procedure, that’s because the wavelength required to cure the resin is in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum. Don’t worry – it’s not powerful enough to give your gums a sunburn! It’s desirable to design resin that cures under UV light because there isn’t much UV in a dentist’s office. That way they can get the PRRs just right and cure it when they’re ready.

How long do preventive resin restorations last?

With proper care, preventive resin restorations can last decades. This is because the resin they are composed of is very similar – in some cases the same – as what is used to fill cavities. Of course, preventive resin restorations won’t change the fact that you’ll need good dental habits to keep your smile healthy. Regular brushing and flossing and avoiding things that could mechanically damage your PRRs – like chewing ice – will ensure you get the most possible life out of them.

Speaking of flossing, it’s particularly important to keep up with your flossing routine with PRRs. They cover the surfaces of your teeth, but they won’t help in between teeth – that’s the domain of floss.

To find out more about the dental services offered by our dentist in Albuquerque NM, Dr. Snyder, call (505)-293-7611, schedule an online consultation or visit us at 4830 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE, Ste. K, Albuquerque, NM, 87111.

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