No one likes hearing they have a cavity. Unfortunately, despite impeccable oral hygiene, tooth decay can still occur. When it does, it is important to treat the issue sooner rather than later.
Our team at Dowell Dental Group in Minerva, OH can provide restorative treatments to remedy the problem. Here, we explore five common dental procedures designed to eliminate decay and bacteria and preserve your oral health.
Read on to learn more about treatment for cavities.
When small cavities develop, they can usually be treated with dental fillings. Used in the field for decades, fillings used to be comprised of amalgam. This material is a combination of zinc, copper, tin, silver, and mercury.
While amalgam is still used in some practices today, most doctors place tooth-colored composite fillings, which are safer and more aesthetically pleasing, as they can be color-matched to the surrounding teeth.
If a cavity is too large for a dental filling, an inlay or onlay may be recommended. Also referred to as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays are custom-crafted to fit into the tooth structure, much like puzzle pieces. Inlays are used to repair cavities located between the cusps of the teeth, while onlays are larger and include at least one cusp.
If decay has affected a larger portion of the tooth, a dental crown may be considered. Custom-made for your unique anatomy, a dental crown fits over the entire tooth structure. A crown can reinforce a weakened tooth or alter the shape of a tooth. Crowns can also be used to restore dental implants.
In the past, most crowns were crafted from metal alloys. However, today, there are plenty of tooth-colored options to choose from, including all-ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), and zirconia.
At Dowell Dental Group, we also offer same-day crowns for qualifying patients. Our advanced digital technology allows us to virtually design your new restoration and fabricate it at our milling station while you wait.
When decay or dental damage affects the innermost structures of a tooth, root canal therapy will be necessary to save it. During this procedure, the pulp, nerves, and blood vessels will be removed and replaced with gutta percha, a flexible dental filling material.
To deter further bacteria from infecting the tooth, it will be sealed with a filling and in many cases, capped with a dental crown.
Contrary to common assumptions, root canal therapy does not cause significant discomfort. In fact, because the source of infection is removed during the procedure, most patients feel immense relief following the treatment.
Unfortunately, there are some teeth that are simply too damaged or decayed to be repaired. In these cases, tooth extraction is recommended. If an infected or broken-down tooth is left intact, it could lead to further issues and seriously compromise your oral health.
At Dowell Dental Group, we prefer to save your natural teeth whenever possible. However, if a tooth must be removed, we utilize gentle and safe techniques for a quick and comfortable recovery.
If you suspect you have a cavity, having it diagnosed early is the key to conservative and predictable treatment. To find out what treatment option will most effectively meet your needs, schedule a consultation at our practice. Contact us online or call us at one of our four office locations.