How a General Dentist Treats Cavities

How a General Dentist Treats Cavities from Lida Davani, DDS in Los Angeles, CA Among the most common dental problems that a general dentist treats are cavities. Most people will experience this form of tooth decay at some point due to:

  • Dry mouth
  • Sugary foods and drinks
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Genetics

There are several types of cavities, and each can lead to complications without prompt treatment.

How do dentists treat cavities?

A general dentist first considers a cavity's location when determining how to proceed. Beyond that, size and depth dictate which procedure is a suitable treatment.

Smooth surface cavities

Cavities that form on the relatively flat outer surfaces of teeth advance slowly and are highly treatable with fluoride. At the first signs of deterioration, dentists may instruct patients to use a fluoride-based toothpaste and mouth rinse to restore worn tooth enamel. Avoidance of sugary or acidic foods can prevent further damage. More aggressive fluoride treatments can be performed in a dental office and involve painting the teeth with a varnish that hardens into a film to bathe teeth in enamel-strengthening fluoride until brushing removes it.

Pit cavities

Molars and premolars involved in aggressive chewing are especially prone to cavities due to their irregular top surfaces. As part of an exam, a general dentist presses a fine-tipped instrument pressed onto the tooth, and if it sinks or catches, a cavity is present.

If the pitting is not deep, the dentist may apply a fluoride treatment but more commonly uses a sealant. This fills in the hole and creates a protective barrier on the tooth's surface that can last 10 years. A filling is warranted when a cavity progresses to the dentin, the layer immediately behind the enamel. Treatment involves removing decayed portions of the tooth and filling the opening with tooth-colored porcelain or metal such as gold or silver.

Root cavities

X-rays can diagnose root cavities, but they may be visible during a routine examination if there is gum recession. A general dentist's approach to treating a root cavity depends on how far it has progressed. In the early stages of decay, fluoride treatments may be sufficient, but moderate or advanced decay requires removing portions of the tooth and adding a filling. If the inner pulp containing the nerve is infected, a root canal may be necessary, involving not only removing decayed portions of the tooth but the entire root to save the tooth. The tooth is then reinforced with a crown.

Between-teeth cavities

Early-stage cavities between teeth are nearly impossible to see with the naked eye, but dentists use X-ray imaging to detect their presence. These cavities are manageable with fluoride treatments; however, if they become apparent by expanding into the dentin layer, a dentist must remove diseased portions of the tooth and apply a dental filling.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp:
General Dentist in Los Angeles, CA

Conclusion

Visiting a general dentist for regular dental cleanings, maintaining rigorous oral home care, and having a healthy diet can protect teeth from premature wear that can cause cavities. Fortunately, it is possible to rebuild enamel if the deterioration is detected before it expands beyond the tooth surface; however, prompt treatment is crucial to prevent further complications.

Request an appointment or call Lida Davani, DDS at 310-402-2149 for an appointment in our Los Angeles office.

Related Posts

A General Dentist Discusses The Benefits Of Tooth Straightening

In recent years, more patients have been asking general dentist professionals about straighter teeth. Orthodontic treatment has come a long way in the last decades. Patients may think that traditional braces are the only option, but clear aligners and appliance therapy are also available now. When having this conversation, it is important that patients discuss…

What A General Dentist Exam Involves

Good oral care is critical for overall well-being, and adults who routinely visit a general dentist are less likely to have problems with their teeth and health. Visiting a dentist twice per year can help detect and remediate the following conditions: CavitiesGum diseaseOral cancerTooth misalignmentSystemic diseaseMany people put off visiting a dentist due to fear…

A General Dentist Discusses Different Filling Options

When a patient has a cavity, a general dentist thoroughly takes out all the decayed area of the tooth and replaces it with a filling in the empty space to prevent future decay. When it comes to the type of filling, there are various options from which the patient may choose. They each have advantages…

Related Posts

How Often Should Dentures Be Relined?

How Often Should Dentures Be Relined?

Dental professionals recommend a denture reline at least every two years. However, you might need to get your dentures relined more often depending on various factors, such as the materials used for the reline and the degree of bone loss you have experienced. You need to visit a general dentist once a year to get…

Three Reasons Not To Use Over The Counter Teeth Whitening Products

Three Reasons Not To Use Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Products

Over-the-counter teeth whitening products can cause teeth sensitivity, gum irritation, and undesirable results. Instead, it is best to visit a licensed dentist for teeth whitening treatment. They can ensure the safety and effectiveness of teeth whitening treatment. While it may be tempting to try and save a few dollars on a store-bought whitening kit, it is…