Do you need a dentist for cavities and fillings? What is some general information about cavities and fillings?
Good Oral Health
Keeping a good oral health care routine goes beyond ensuring that you are brushing, flossing, and using a quality mouth rinse after every meal. Good oral health care involves keeping those routine appointments with your dentist. At your checkups your dentist can evaluate the overall health of your mouth, and of each of your teeth. Any small cavities can be quickly treated, and the health of your teeth can be restored.
What are cavities?
Also known as dental caries, cavities are damage done to the tooth. The damage is done when plaque and the bacteria in your mouth eat away at the protective enamel layers of your teeth. The bacteria cause acids that will continue to erode at the enamel on your teeth. The result will be cavities that need to be treated as soon as possible.
What happens if cavities aren’t treated?
Left untreated, cavities will simply get larger. The decay will spread throughout the tooth, and you may start to feel a fair amount of pain once the infection reaches the nerves in your tooth. The decay could lead to a serious infection, and the need for root canal therapy. You may even be facing the total loss of the tooth. All of this because a small cavity was not treated in its early stages.
How are cavities filled?
If the cavity is relatively small, it can be filled using a conventional filling of composite resin or amalgam. Your dentist will start the procedure by ensuring that your tooth and the surrounding gum are completely numb so that you feel no pain during the procedure. At most you should feel only pressure. Once you are numb, your dentist will start to remove the decay from your tooth, using a number of tools. Once the decay has been removed, and the area has been disinfected, your dentist will apply the filling. This should restore the look and function of your tooth, and of course remove the decay.
If the decay has spread into the root canals of your tooth, then you will need root canal therapy. This procedure is a bit more complicated, but the basic treatment is the same as for a routine filling. If the decay has destroyed a lot of your tooth. then you may need to have a porcelain crown made to fit over the tooth to offer it stability and protection.
How can I prevent cavities?
The best thing that you can do to keep cavities at bay is to keep up with a good home oral health care routine. This will involve brushing your teeth after every meal, and using a quality dental floss to remove trapped particles from between your teeth. A good mouth rinse can also go a long way toward keeping food debris from accumulating between your teeth and below the gum line. Your dentist can also offer fluoride treatments that can offer protection to your teeth.
And of course, keeping a healthy mouth involves regular appointments with your dentist.
Keep your teeth healthy, and your smile bright. Call us today at 718-535-1196 to make an appointment with Ideal Smiles Dental.