While cavities are most common in children, they can be a problem for adults as well. Cavities form as tooth enamel wears away due to a build-up of plaque and bacteria. There are many ways to prevent cavities from forming, including:
- Regular visits to the dentist for professional cleaning
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing once a day
- Eating a healthy diet, limiting sugary snacks and sodas
Dentistry for Drill-Free Cavity Fillings
Thanks to the diligent work of material scientists across the world, the quality of composite materials have made restorations more predictable and long-lasting than ever. But wouldn’t it be nice if cavities can be fixed without drilling and filling?
A lot of attention has been paid recently to the use of bioactive particles to fill microscopic holes that are believed to be one cause of tooth sensitivity. These particles, in addition to fluoride, have been used in pastes to harden teeth and fill the naturally-occurring microscopic holes and therefore reduce tooth sensitivity.
Evidence suggests that these bioactive particles have the potential to reverse cavities.
Most cavities start in the outer layer of the tooth, called the enamel. As acid produced by bacteria breaks down the mineral content of the enamel, a small cavity forms.
The cavity increases in size when bacteria continue to produce acid and the mineral content continues to be broken down. Eventually, the cavity reaches the inner layer of the tooth, called the dentin. At this point, the cavity must be removed and filled.
But if the cavity is caught in its earliest stages (called an incipiency or incipient decay) during a routine checkup, it is possible that the application of a paste or gel containing bioactive glass particles can actually reverse the decay process.
This can help us restore the tooth to excellent health without the need for drilling and filling!
While these products are still in development, they offer the potential to reduce overall dental healthcare costs for many patients across the globe. Of course, the success of such therapy still depends on routine cleanings, examinations, and radiographs in order to catch the decay in its early stages.
Your team at Valley Dental Health is always exploring less invasive ways to restore your smile to health and function. Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding your dental health.
Cavities: What to Expect
If you do have a tooth cavity or if your teeth are showing signs of decay, Dr. Izadi and Dr. Rafat may recommend a number of general dentistry treatments depending on the severity of your situation. The primary goal is to restore the tooth to proper health and minimize the risk of further decay.
Tooth Cavity Symptoms
A dentist can identify cavities usually before you experience symptoms, so it is important to maintain regular dental check-ups. Common symptoms may include:
- Toothache or tooth pain
- Sensitive teeth
- Holes in the teeth
- Sore gums or bleeding gums
Adult patients can have tooth decay problems, especially around the margins of crowns, fillings, and other restorations. Tooth root decay can be a problem for people who have receding gums.
Treating Tooth Cavities
Treatment for tooth cavities often involves a dental filling. Your dentist may either use a composite resin dental filling, porcelain filling, or gold filling. In other cases, the tooth may require a dental crown to restore stability and function.
Can cavities go away on their own?
No. Cavities cannot, and will not go away on their own. You can slow the process at which the surface of your tooth decays, but it cannot be stopped. It is important to have cavities filled so that decay does not occur. Decaying cavities may result in tooth removal.
How long can I wait until a cavity becomes an issue?
Without treatment, cavities will slowly eat away at your tooth until it is decayed to the point where it needs to be removed. This can take anywhere between 6 to 5 years. It is recommended to have cavities filled as soon as possible once they have been detected. This prevents the ability of the tooth to continue to decay and will help in the long run.
How long does it take to fill a cavity?
The procedure to fill a cavity typically takes around 20-45 minutes, but it can take up to an hour. The time it takes to fill a cavity depends on the size of the cavity, and its location. In some cases, patients will need to have multiple cavities filled. This may cause appointments to take longer than an hour.
Schedule a Dental Exam Today
The best way to prevent tooth cavities is through regular visits to the dentist. Schedule an appointment with the dentists at Valley Dental Health near Hunt Valley, Sparks & Phoenix MD. Call (410) 803-5587 or request an appointment online.