How Dentists Fix Cavities

Cavities can be a problem for kids, teens and adults. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. If you drink or eat foods with sugar, the sticky film of bacteria will produce acids that will attack the tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque will keep these acids in contact with your teeth. Over time, the enamel can break down, and cavities will form. 

 

3 Types of Cavities

How dentists fix cavities will depend on the type of cavity you have.

1. Smooth-Surface Cavities

Smooth-surface cavities happen on the teeth’s flat exterior surface. This type of cavity occurs when you don’t brush regularly and correctly.

Smooth-surface cavities are the fastest and easiest for dentists to treat. Fillings might not be needed at all. Fluoride treatments may only be necessary, such as fluoride-enriched water, gels, varnishes and toothpaste. Regular flossing can also be helpful.

2. Pit and Fissure Cavities

Pit and fissure cavities are common on the chewing surface of the teeth, usually on the back teeth. Like smooth-surface cavities, this happens when people are careless or inconsistent with their oral hygiene habits.

Pediatric dentists recommend using a good fluoride toothpaste as a treatment for this type of cavity if it is detected early. But if the cavity reaches the dentin, the decay must be removed immediately and the tooth repaired with crowns, fillings or composites. Composites and fillings are for small to medium cavities while crowns are for large pit and fissure cavities.

3. Root Cavities

Root cavities commonly occur in older adults. They are located on the surface of the roots of the teeth. If gums recede, the roots will be left exposed. As such, they become susceptible to tooth decay.

Removing the decay is the best way to fix this type of cavity. The cavity will be replaced with a crown or filling. Most modern filling materials are now barely noticeable if you smile or speak. Root canal treatment might be recommended when the decay has spread to the pulp of the tooth.

Cavity Prevention

Although cavity treatment is simple if caught early, prevention is always far better than a cure. Regular brushing and flossing will help prevent plaque build-up and minimize the risk of cavities.

Regular dental visits are crucial for prevention as well. Visiting your dentist twice a year is also among the easiest ways of saving money on your cavity treatment. Apart from giving your teeth a thorough cleaning, your dentist will also identify parts of your mouth that don’t receive adequate care.

While your cavity is still small, you won’t feel any pain. As such, you should not wait to experience discomfort or pain before you book an appointment with your dentist to prevent the problem from getting worse. Have a tubular day!

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