One of the furthest things on a cancer patient’s mind after finally completing the exhausting chemotherapy treatments is their teeth. After the harsh chemo sessions and side effects that follow each treatment, many survivors of this disease find themselves in pain due to issues with their mouth or teeth.
During high-dose chemotherapy, not only are the cancer cells eliminated, but the cells that fight off infections are destroyed as well. This unfortunate side effect leaves your mouth unprotected and causes even an average amount of bacteria to become problematic for the health of your teeth.
Another oral health related side effect of chemotherapy treatments is that saliva production is decreased, and this saliva is crucial in protecting teeth from decay. Months of dry mouth and lack of infection-fighting blood cells means that once treatments are finished, and your doctor has given the okay for dental procedures, it’s time to get your teeth checked.
Due to the invasive nature of cancer treatments, most patients dread the thought of more treatments of any kind. Thanks to advances in dentistry, a gentle approach to dental health is finally gaining traction and awareness.
Biomimetics, from the words “biology” and “mimic,” seeks to transform the world of dentistry to treat and restore teeth while saving as much of their natural biology as possible.
Cancer survivors and others who are tired of the unnecessarily invasive procedures that are recommended far too frequently at offices around the nation will be happy to hear that this dental approach is growing at a rapid rate. Natural and gentle methods are imperative after the trauma associated with cancer treatments.
Kurt Williams, DDS, active member of the Academy of Biomimetic Dentistry and known by his patients for his gentle approach explains what is unique about this method to modern dentistry:
“The biomimetic difference is that the tooth is restored from the inside out in a detailed layering technique that restores your tooth to its original strength prior to any breakdown. The biomimetically-restored tooth leaves more natural tooth and is much stronger than a tooth restored with a traditional, full crown.”
Biomimetic dentistry uses its unique approach to restore, strengthen, and improve the appearance of teeth. It can also be used to repair cracks, chips, decay and cavities and to fill gaps where a tooth is missing. The biomimetic approach to these procedures offers a lot of benefits over traditional measures insists Dr. Williams.
” In addition to lasting longer than many other restorative options, they preserve your tooth and actually strengthen it in ways that a filling that is pressed into your tooth can’t. Inlays and Onlays do not respond to temperature changes the way metal fillings do, plus they require less tooth preparation and drilling than conventional fillings”, he says.
I don’t know anyone that would be disappointed in the idea of less drilling, less invasive procedures and restoring as much of your natural anything for that matter. As modern medicine evolves, it is exciting to see how many choices will become available to tailor to the way we choose to seek care for our bodies and our health.