Here at Forney Family Dentistry & Orthodontics, we believe in advanced care as well as the basics. That's why we offer comprehensive general dentistry as well as restorative dentistry procedures to improve the health of the teeth and gums.
Tooth decay and cavities are some of the most common problems we treat at the practice. Let's look at the various options out there for fighting cavities right now.
What is a cavity?
A cavity is the result of oral bacteria feeding on food particles caught on or between teeth. The oral bacteria produces and acidic substance in the process of eating the food particles, and this acidic substance eats into the enamel of the tooth, resulting in damage.
If left untreated, the enamel is seriously damaged, and oral bacteria can potentially reach the underlying dentin layer of a tooth as well as the interior pulp chamber. In the latter case, an infection of a tooth may occur.
Dental Fillings - A Standard First Option
For basic cavities, the most common treatment option is a dental filling. Dental fillings are small restorations that are used to rebuild minor tooth decay and tooth damage. They come in metal and tooth-colored form, the latter of which is able to fill a cavity and blend in seamlessly with your natural tooth structure. Metal and tooth-colored options are also available with the other dental restorations we will note below.
Inlays and Onlays - When a Filling Just Won't Cut It
When a traditional dental filling is not enough to rebuild damaged tooth structure, the next option to consider is an inlay or an onlay. Inlays and onlays are able to restore a larger section of a tooth's structure than a traditional filling. This includes the cusps (biting surfaces) of the teeth. The inlays and onlays restore the overall structure and strength of the decayed tooth.
Dental Crowns - Capping a Seriously Damaged Tooth
Dental crowns are the last restoration that can be used to save a tooth. When a tooth is severely damaged or decayed, the crown is used to cap it, restoring biting strength and also protecting the tooth from serious harm in the process. Typically, tooth-colored crowns are more common for the front six teeth while metal crowns are used for the molars.
Root Canal Therapy - When a Tooth Is Infected
If a tooth becomes infected as a result of tooth decay, dentists will perform a root canal to alleviate the pain from the infection and prevent the spread of infection. A root canal basically involves the removal of the diseased dental pulp within the tooth and the capping of the treated tooth with a dental crown.
Tooth Extraction - If a Tooth Cannot Be Saved
Sometimes too much of a tooth's structure is damaged and the tooth itself simply cannot be restored or saved. In such cases, extraction is the best option to consider. We will discuss options for replacing the extracted tooth during the consultation process.
Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay
In order to prevent tooth decay, keep these simple and helpful tips in mind:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Floss your teeth at least once a night
- Avoid snacking on sugary foods
- Limit your consumption of sugary beverages
- Do not use tobacco products
- Drink water to remain hydrated and help keep your teeth clean
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups
Contact Forney Family Dentistry & Orthodontics
For more information on treating cavities, we encourage you to contact our family dental care center today. The entire team here at Forney Family Dentistry & Orthodontics will work closely with you to ensure that you receive excellent treatment that enhances your overall dental health and general wellness.