You may fear the dentist office because you are afraid to hear the dreaded words: “you have a cavity.” Knowing that a filling will be suggested by the dentist to treat the cavity follows. But do you actually understand what it means to have a cavity, how the dentist fills it with a filling, or what a filling is?
Below, we’ll go over how to fill a cavity and how to fix a cavity in general. We hope that by explaining how fillings function, you’ll feel more at ease and have less fear and anxiety.
What is a Cavity?
A hole left behind by bacteria after they decimate a tooth’s component is known as a dental cavity. It’s true that the bacteria that caused the hole are still present in the cavity. If the cavity is not treated, the infection and disease will worsen (the infection will spread, potentially damaging the tooth and infecting the bloodstream). It is therefore necessary to get rid of the tooth decay.
Signs of Cavities
What symptoms do cavities show? Of course, having a cavity examined by a dentist is the best way to find out. A dental x-ray may reveal decay between teeth, or the dentist may be able to feel or see the cavity with dental tools. In their earliest stages, dentists are able to identify cavities. A cavity has frequently advanced significantly by the time a patient notices it.
Some common cavity warning signs are:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain when eating hot or cold items, or when biting down
- A hole in the tooth that can be seen or felt
- Black, white, or brown spots on a tooth
How Do Cavities Develop?
A cavity is a tiny hole that forms when acids eat away at the enamel, the outermost layer of your teeth. They are permanently damaged areas of your tooth that result in several symptoms, including:
- Toothache or spontaneous pain
- Tooth sensitivity
- Mild or sharp pain when eating or drinking
- Visible holes in your teeth
- Brown, black, or white staining on the tooth’s surface
- Pain when biting down
Poor dental hygiene, such as inadequate tooth brushing, causes cavities to form over time. When bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars and starches, they produce plaque, a clear, sticky substance. Tartar, which is more difficult to remove, eventually forms when it hardens.
Your tooth enamel loses minerals due to the acids in plaque. By starting a cavity with this erosion, bacteria can then further infect your tooth.
Up until it reaches the interior of your tooth, tooth decay persists. The pulp, or innermost part of the tooth, will swell and hurt.
Cavities may appear inconsequential, but they can cause serious complications. Some issues associated with cavities include:
- Swelling or pus around affected teeth
- Damaged or broken teeth
- Chewing problems
- Shifted teeth after tooth loss
A tooth abscess, a pus-filled pocket brought on by a bacterial infection, can result from an untreated cavity. Your dentist can drain abscesses and get rid of the infection, which is the only way to treat them. They might have to extract your tooth if the situation is more serious.
How Do Dentists Fix Cavities?
To help fill a cavity, your dentist may use a number of procedures. Depending on how badly your teeth are decayed, they may choose another. Some treatment options include:
- Dental fillings
- Root canal
- Solea laser
To treat cavities before they become infected, dentists frequently use dental fillings. The damaged areas of your tooth can be filled in with a variety of fillings, both metal and tooth-colored.
Your procedure might require some additional steps depending on the material used. The overall filling process includes:
- Using an anesthetic to numb the affected area
- Removing the decayed parts of the tooth
- Testing the area to ensure decay is gone
- Filling the tooth with the chosen filling material
- Finishing & polishing the tooth
A cap in the form of a tooth is a dental crown. It protects a natural tooth and aids in regaining its size, shape, and strength. When a decayed tooth becomes too weak and is at risk of breaking, a crown is the best option.
If you need a crown, your dentist completes this procedure in 1 to 2 visits:
- Examination & preparation: Your dentist will assess the damage before reshaping the tooth to hold your future crown, creating an impression in the process
- Receiving the permanent crown: Your dentist will have your permanent crown ready for use & will cement it in place if the fit is ideal
When a tooth is seriously infected or decayed, a root canal is required. The tooth’s pulp and nerve are removed by your dentist during this process.
The following occurs during a root canal:
- An administered anesthetic to help you stay comfortable
- The drilling of the abscess to help remove the pulp, bacteria, & decayed nerve tissue
- The cleaning of the tooth with root canal files & fluid
- The sealing of the tooth
- The filling of the tooth’s interior
- Further tooth restoration if needed
The Solea laser is a CO2 dental laser system that frequently takes the place of the common dental drill. It expedites the dental procedure and benefits patients with dental phobia.
For the average patient, the Solea laser means:
- No anesthesia, needles, or post-appointment numbness
- No bleeding
- No loud or uncomfortable drill
- Fewer & shorter appointments
Most patients who use the Solea laser report no discomfort. Without the use of anesthesia beforehand, this laser can assist your dentist in preparing your tooth for a cavity filling.
No matter the severity, your dentist has a variety of treatment options for cavities. However, the best way to handle cavities is to avoid them altogether. There are many ways to reduce your risk of developing cavities.
How to Prevent Cavities?
There are many ways to try to prevent cavities in the first place, even though there are no at-home treatments for them. An array of various elements and tactics are typically combined to create good dental health. However, even with good dental hygiene, not all cavities can be avoided. Plaque can build up in the numerous groves, bumps, and spaces found on teeth. However, adopting these habits can assist with the factors that patients can influence in the cavity prevention process.
Brush and Floss Daily
Avoiding plaque buildup is the best way to prevent cavities. Plaque can be removed from teeth’s surfaces very effectively with brushing and between-teeth cleaning with floss. The suggested frequency of brushing is twice daily for two minutes. At least once per day, flossing is advised.
Use a Fluoride Toothpaste
Cavities can be avoided by consuming fluoride. It functions by halting the eroding of enamel and lowering the acid that plaque-causing bacteria produce. Using a fluoride toothpaste is a great way to add fluoride to your teeth. For the purpose of preventing cavities, fluoride is also added to the water supply in many towns.
Get Regular Dental Checkups and Cleanings
Regular dental visits have a variety of advantages.First,a dentist can find early signs of cavities and help the patient with strategies for halting the decay, such as improved brushing and flossing habits and use of a stronger fluoride treatment. Regular visits to the dentist help to ensure that any cavities that need filling will be found in the early stages. Less severe decay generally costs less than smaller cavities because they require less drilling and smaller fillings.
Cavities are impossible to treat at home. The only safe way to treat cavities is to go to the dentist, and doing so is also a fantastic way to stop decay before it starts.