Dental caries, better known as cavities, bring a number of different treatment options based on the circumstances and the severity of the damage. Common treatments for dental caries range from mild (fluoride usage) to severe (root canal).
Learn more about dental caries treatment below.
The sooner you seek care, the better your chances of reversing the earliest stages of tooth decay and preventing its progression. If a cavity is treated before it starts causing pain, you probably won’t need an extensive treatment.
Common treatment options for dental caries include:
For cavities in the early stages of decay, a fluoride treatment can help restore the enamel (or outer coating) of the tooth. While fluoride can be found in tap water, toothpaste and mouthwash, a professional treatment contains even greater amounts of fluoride.
The fluoride is contained in a liquid or gel form and is then brushed onto the tooth or placed in a tray for the tooth to soak.
If the damage from a cavity has progressed far enough that fluoride won’t help, a filling will be necessary. Fillings are a common form of treatment and can be made from things such as porcelain, composite resin, silver, and gold.
The material is used to fill in the hole left by the cavity. Fillings do not last forever and may need to be re-filled in the future.
A crown is similar to a filling but instead of filling the hole in a decayed tooth, a custom-fit covering is made that is placed over the top of the tooth. A crown requires the decayed portion of the tooth to first be drilled out. Like fillings, crowns do not last forever.
If a cavity reaches deep enough into a tooth, a root canal may be necessary. In a root canal, the damaged inner core of the tooth is removed and replaced with a filling.
A tooth that is damaged beyond repair will need to be removed. The gap that is left by a pulled tooth is often filled with an implant or bridge.
If you’re worried that your child may have a cavity, seek out your nearest Kool Smiles office for an examination by our dental professionals. Cavities become worse over time, so the sooner you can catch a cavity, the better off your child will be.
American Association of Endodontists: http://www.aae.org/patients/treatments-and-procedures/root-canals/root-canals.aspx
Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cavities/basics/treatment/con-20030076
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