Dental Services That Treat Cavities

Cavities are a result of tooth decay and can be quite painful. A cavity forms when the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth start to demineralize your tooth enamel.

Each time you consume carbohydrates, the oral microbes feed on the leftover simple sugars in your mouth. As they digest their meal, they release digestive byproducts, including acid. The acid dissolves the tooth material, causing holes or cavities to develop.

Once a cavity forms, your dentist offers dental services to treat your condition. Here are a few of those services. 

Dental Fillings

If a cavity is small and there are no additional complications, a dental filling may be sufficient to treat the damaged tooth. During the filling application, any remaining decayed tooth material is removed, and a filling is applied to fill the hole.

Dental fillings may be comprised of a variety of materials, including resin, porcelain, gold, or silver amalgam. Resin or porcelain is typically used if you would like a tooth-colored filling.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a hollow prosthetic device that covers the portion of the tooth that is not covered by the gingival tissues. A crown is often used in conjunction with a dental filling if a cavity is large enough to compromise the integrity of the tooth. Since a crown fortifies a tooth on all sides, the damage to the tooth is unlikely to worsen after the crown's placement. Additionally, the tooth is able to withstand normal bite pressure during mastication.

Crowns are also made from various materials, such as porcelain over metal, all porcelain, resin, gold, or stainless steel. Although stainless steel crowns are prefabricated, the other crowns are customized to fit the exact contours of your mouth.

To install a crown, your dentist makes an impression of your mouth and the tooth that will be fitted with the crown. This impression is used as a guide as the crown is fabricated in a dental lab. If you select a tooth-colored crown, you can then match the crown color to that of your other healthy teeth.

Root Canal

If a dental cavity becomes deep, it can breach the inner layers of the tooth, allowing the entry of oral bacteria. As the microbes invade the innermost tooth layer, which is called the pulp, an infection may ensue. 

An infection in the pulp, which houses the nerves and blood vessels of a tooth, can cause irreparable damage to the dental nerves. A root canal procedure can be performed to remove the pulp, fill the tooth, and cover it with a dental crown.

If you're interested in discovering more ways that your dentist may treat a tooth after a cavity forms, consult with a dentist near you.