|Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
December 20, 2015
Cavities form as result of tooth decay in the mouth. Tooth decay occurs in the enamel and the dentin of a tooth. Plaque on the teeth can cause the tooth to start decaying and pits will form. Cavities are found in people of all ages. Some cavities can be very painful and all should be looked at by a dentist. There are a few different ways to treat cavities.
The treatment type depends on the extent of the tooth decay on the tooth. If the decay is not that extensive then the decayed portion of the tooth will be removed by drilling. Once it is all removed a filling will fill the space. The filling can be made of silver alloy, porcelain or a composite resin. Materials used for fillings are considered safe by the American Dental Association (ADA). Mercury based fillings are still being used and have been proven to be safe. Some people might be allergic to the silver amalgam or other restorative materials, but these are rare.
If the tooth decay is extensive, it is likely that there is a limited amount of tooth structure remaining. When there is limited tooth structure a dental crown will be needed. In this case the decayed area of the tooth is first removed and repaired. Then a crown is fitted over the remained of the tooth. Crowns are made from gold, porcelain or porcelain fused to metal.
When the decay is so bad that it causes the nerve of the tooth to die, then a root canal will be needed. A root canal is when the center of the tooth is removed along with the decayed portion of the tooth. The center of the tooth includes the nerve, blood vessels and tissue. Once the root is removed the area is filled with a sealing material. A crown might be needed and will be placed over the filled tooth.
There are new cavity treatments be researched all the time. One experimental technique uses fluorescent light to detect the development of cavities. This technique can detect them long before traditional means like a dental exam or an x-ray. This can help to detect cavities earlier and catching them as early as possible helps slow down the rate of decay. Another technique that may be seen in the future is something known as “smart fillings”. These can help prevent further tooth decay by slowly releasing fluoride over time around fillings and in the surrounding teeth.
The best way to fight against getting cavities is to continue healthy dental habits. Brush your teeth twice a day and use floss and mouth wash. Make sure to visit your dentist for regular exams to keep the teeth clean and to help look for any damage.
For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr.Wishneff at [email protected]or call (561) 488-3111. Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.
Image: By Various (Scan from the original work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons