Tooth Cavity Treatment Options
Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or tooth cavity, is the fact having a hole that damages the internal structure of a tooth. Many teeth can have cavities which are often called dental caries (or simply caries). Although dental caries do not kill, it is progressive and destructive disease which will eventually damage the entire tooth structure if left untreated.
Tooth cavity should not be overlooked as they can lead to the lost of the damaged tooth. The wisest thing to do from the first moment you experience the pain or see the discoloration is to see your dentist so that he can determine the proper treatment your teeth need. Delaying can not only cause you to lose your diseased tooth/teeth but also put you at risk of developing other diseases, including heart problems.
Tooth Decay Treatment
Many procedures can be used to treat dental caries. Certain cavities may need to be filled (tooth filling) to restore them to their formal structure. Tooth filling was introduced for the first time by Dr. G.V. Black in 1875. This method involves mainly removing the decayed portions of the diseased tooth to be replaced by a specific material. Dr. Black approach also included extending tooth preparation to include certain groves and surfaces, so as to protect the tooth from further decay. The filling procedure described by Dr. Black is still used today, especially in the case of amalgam tooth fillings.
Some Tooth Filling Procedures
Detection of the Tooth Decay
First, your dentist will examine mouth using an instrument called explorer to probe the surface of the tooth for cavities. Visual examinations can also be performed to detect the dental caries. This involves observing brown or black regions in the teeth, and other signs indicating cavities. In some cases, X-rays can be done to locate cavities hidden between the teeth or under the gum line, which are nearly impossible to detect visually.
Evaluation of the Tooth Decay
After detecting and confirming the Tooth cavity, your dentist will determine if the cavity has not spread to the major structure of the tooth such as the dentin, the hard bony tissue forming the bulk of a tooth beneath the enamel. In case of superficial dental caries, there is no need for medical treatment or tooth extraction. The teeth can be healed or re-mineralized on their own by proper oral hygiene, diet, or natural remedy: for instance swishing dried comfrey root tea in your mouth and between your teeth for about 20 minutes. In case the cavities have severely affected the enamel and the dental pulp, however, appropriate treatment or therapies are needed. The dentist will talk to you or give you an appointment to discuss further therapeutic actions to take. Tooth extraction may be the best option.
Cleaning and Drilling
Once the cavity has been diagnosed and evaluated, now it is time for cleaning and drilling. This process involves removing the decayed tooth material and rebuilding the missing tooth structure with a filling material. The procedure may require an injection of a local anesthesia to numb the treated portion of the mouth. After the anesthesia has fully worked, the dentist then starts cleaning out the cavity with the help of a high speed dental drill. Once all the decayed portion has been drilled out, the tooth filling can be done.
Selection of Tooth Filling
Tooth decay causes not only pain but also overgrowth of bacteria in the damaged tooth. To prevent this, a filling is very important. Tooth fillings allow the specialist to close off places for bacteria to enter which will worsen the decay. The type of filling used usually depends on the extent of repair needed to be done to the teeth. Allergic reactions should also be considered due to the fact some people are allergic to certain filling materials. Filling cost is also an option in the choice of the fillings. In general, there are four types of fillings: gold, amalgam (silver), composite (tooth colored fillings) resins and porcelain fillings.
Placement of Liners and Bases
After completing the removal of the dental caries, selecting and placing suitable liner and base materials become necessary. A liner, such as Dycal, is usually placed inside the cavity to reduce sensitivity. In fact some liners are used to stimulate regeneration of the tooth pulp. In case of deep fillings, a base is placed in addition to the liner to insulate the tooth from temperature changes which can cause pain. Glass ionomer cement and zinc phosphate cement are common bases used under dental fillings. But in general the material and quantity used depends on the characteristic of the tooth decay.
Tooth Filling Procedure
After all these above are completed, a liner will be placed into the drilled cavity. In case the base is required, it is also placed, and then the chosen filling material is layered on top of it. This process is important to complete the rebuilding of the diseased tooth. Sometimes the filling is built up too high; if that occurs, a second appointment will be scheduled to shave it down in order to bring it to a comfortable level.