A dental cavity is a hole on the hard surface of your tooth that causes severe dental pain, tooth discoloration, and tooth sensitivity if not treated. Bacteria in our mouths interact with the foods and drinks that we consume to create an acid, which erodes the tooth’s enamel.
The bacteria, saliva, acid, and food particles combine to form plaque, which attacks the enamel causing the hole to increase. A small cavity may be painless since the inner layers of your tooth are not affected. Big cavities are extremely painful and, if not treated early, may result in tooth extraction.
Once you have made an appointment with a dentist near you for cavity treatment, a diagnosis will be carried out. The dentist will ask about your tooth pain and sensitivity, carefully examine your teeth and mouth and take dental x-rays to determine the extent of cavities and decay.
The severity of your cavity will determine the treatment options offered by the dentist. Your dentist may choose any of the options below to fix the hole in a tooth:
A large cavity may require to be filled. Tooth fillings are made of different materials like amalgam, tooth-colored composites, or porcelain. Your dentist will help you choose a suitable filling based on your needs and budget.
This treatment is suitable for small cavities to restore the enamel of the affected tooth. Fluoride treatment at the dentist contains extra fluoride and may be in the form of gel, varnish, or foam. The gel is brushed onto the teeth or placed in a dental tray over your teeth.
Teeth may be weakened by extensive decay and large cavities wearing away the crown. Dental crowns are customized to fit over your tooth and replace the natural crown of your tooth. The dentist will drill out the decayed area and fit in a crown made of; porcelain, gold, or fused metal.
This treatment fixes teeth cavities that have reached the inner part of your tooth, known as the tooth pulp. A root canal repairs the damaged area of the tooth by removing the infected tooth pulp, treating any infections, and replacing the pulp with a tooth filling.
Your dentist will explore all options before settling on tooth extraction. Only teeth that are decayed beyond restoration can be extracted. The dentist will discuss with you the options available for replacing the extracted tooth.