Have a Cavity? Here are Your Cavity
Over 9 out of 10 adults have at least one cavity - they're amongst the most common issues to visit a dentist over. However, you might be wondering what cavity treatment options you have. These will depend on the type of cavity you have, and of course how serious the situation is.
Keep reading below as we explain the options available to you if you'd like to know how to fix cavities.
Dental sealants are one of the lightest treatments out there for you. Your dentist will 'paint' a thin coat of plastic onto the surface of your tooth. It bonds with your tooth, adding protection over your enamel and helping to halt further tooth decay.
When thinking about how to fix a cavity, fillings often spring to mind first. When a dentist carries out a filling, they first take out the parts of the tooth that have decayed and then fill any holes left in your tooth so that you can use it properly. Gold, silver, porcelain, amalgam and composite resin can all be used here.
Root canals might be thought of as being painful and more intense than other treatments, but sometimes they're necessary. On occasion, cavities can infect or inflame the tooth pulp, in which case your dentist will need to get rid of any bacteria present.
After the pulp is removed, the tooth's interior is cleaned before being filled and sealed for function and protection.
These can differ in size and material, so you should discuss options with your dentist. Essentially though, a crown is just a cap that's placed over your tooth if it's damaged, perhaps by decay or root canal treatment.
By using a crown, your tooth may be able to return back to normal, with little no-term harm.
For incredibly minor, early cavities, a fluoride treatment may be an option. Often coming in the form of a foam or gel, fluoride treatments are either brushed or fitted onto your teeth to help restore enamel before the problem gets more serious.
In contrast, for a last resort, extraction may be required. If there's a high risk of an infection spreading to your jaw, this can be the safest option.
Types of Cavities
When asking how to treat a cavity, it's important to remember the three main types. Root cavities, pit and fissure cavities, and smooth-surface cavities are the most common, so keep them in mind.
Root cavities are more prevalent in older adults, and can often be treated with a filling. However, if larger than normal or there's widespread decay, root canal therapy and maybe also a crown might be needed.
In comparison, pit and fissure and smooth-surface cavities both occur on the surface, and sealants and fluoride can often work. Fillings are commonplace for pit and fissure cavities, but if caught late, further treatment like a dental crown and fillings may be necessary.
What's the Right Cavity Treatment for Me?
Now you hopefully have a better idea of the cavity treatment options available to you, depending on the type of cavity. However, although you should take our advice on board, it's always best to speak to your dentist when considering the right cavity treatment for you.
If you'd like more tips for looking after your body, check out some of our other posts.
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