Filling cavities is one of many services that a family dentist provides. Cavities are holes in teeth that occur due to tooth decay. However, if the decay is caught early, it may be possible to reverse it before a cavity forms. Understanding how and why tooth decay happens may make it easier to learn how…
How Does a Family Dentist Treat Cavities?
A family dentist can treat cavities in various ways. Depending on the size of the cavity and the symptoms it causes, a family dentist may recommend either a dental filling or a root canal. They also help their patients prevent dental cavities long-term through oral care education and regular dental cleanings.
Cavity treatment from a family dentist: here is what you need to know
It is beneficial to understand how a family dentist can diagnose, treat, and help prevent cavities. If you have signs of one or more cavities, such as dark spots on teeth or teeth sensitivity, then you can schedule a visit with a family dentist for diagnosis and treatment (if necessary).
Diagnosing weakened enamel and cavities
One of the first things a family dentist will do is conduct an oral examination and order dental X-rays to determine if there are any oral health concerns such as cavities that need to be addressed. If there are any cavities present, then they can assess the severity and determine the best course of action. If enamel is only weakened and has not eroded, then they can take action to help prevent cavities from forming. These actions include the use of a fluoride mouthwash to keep enamel strong, along with brushing and flossing daily. Regular dental cleanings are also a great way to keep teeth strong and free from cavities.
Determining the best course of cavity treatment
There are several ways to treat dental cavities. As mentioned, weakened enamel (rather than eroded enamel) can be treated with fluoride treatment, which remineralizes enamel and strengthens it, preventing the formation of cavities. If a small cavity forms, then the family dentist may recommend a dental filling. For larger cavities, especially those that reach toward the root of the tooth, root canal therapy may be the best course of treatment.
How dental fillings are performed
There are different types of dental fillings. However, the most common fillings are either amalgam or composite fillings, both of which are tooth-colored direct restorations. A dental filling involves cleaning the decayed portion of the tooth, applying the filling material, and hardening the filling with a special curing light.
How root canal therapy is performed
Root canal therapy is used to treat deep tooth decay. This procedure involves accessing the deeper layers of the tooth to remove decay that extends further toward the root, removing the decayed portion of the tooth, and filling the tooth with a gutta-percha. This is often recommended for larger cavities as a filling is not adequate to fill a large cavity caused by deep decay.
Schedule a visit with our family dentist for cavity diagnosis and treatment
Our family dentist and staff help patients prevent cavities long-term through regular cleanings, fluoride treatments (if necessary), and a good oral care routine at home. We can also treat cavities via dental fillings and alternative treatment options. If you have signs of a cavity, feel free to reach out and schedule a visit.
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