Top Treatments for Cavities
A cavity, or tooth decay, can be a painful or sensitive, often unsightly, dangerous problem that nearly everyone is susceptible to. At our offices in Memphis, cavity treatment is a customized process that addresses each patients specific needs and concerns.
Our Memphis cosmetic dentists at Southern Dental Implant Center are skilled in the treatment and prevention of cavities. It is our priority to educate our patients on how cavities and other dental issues can occur so they understand and are comfortable with treatment processes.
A cavity is a hole in the tooth that occurs when built-up plaque and bacteria accumulates on teeth, penetrating below the top surface of enamel. Plaque creates acid that eats away at part of the tooth. This leaves a hole in the tooth that can be sensitive and often painful. Left untreated, a cavity will grow, weakening the tooth and even penetrating to the nerve. In the most serious cases, the tooth may fall out or have to be removed.
Where Did My Cavity Come From?
Some people believe that cavities happen primarily in children because they ingest more sugary treats and sometimes have poor dental habits. While both sugary foods and poor dental hygiene can exacerbate cavities, patients of any age can and do get cavities for a variety of reasons.
Plaque bacteria, the culprit behind your cavity, is a mixture of your mouths natural bacteria, acid, saliva and leftover food. Plaque accumulates and causes cavities when a patient:
- Neglects a strict dental hygiene regimen that could prevent its buildup by brushing and flossing.
- Does not attend regular checkups and cleanings, during which our trained professionals can catch plaque in hard-to-reach places you might have missed.
- Has weakened enamel from acidic foods, disease, medicine, dry mouth or another reason, which can make teeth more susceptible to bacteria.
- Ingests a consistent stream of food or drink that contain fermentable carbohydrates, which the plaque thrives upon.
When a patient visits our state-of-the-art office in Memphis, we are able to identify cavities that may not have shown their symptoms yet and administer immediate treatment. An untreated cavity will grow, causing nerve damage, substantial decay and in severe cases, loss of your entire tooth. The earlier a cavity is recognized, the faster our expert team can stop its destruction.
What Are My Treatment Options?
Cavity treatment is a comfortable process in which we discuss treatment options and catered care plans for each patient. We are proud to offer sedation dentistry for appropriate procedures to calm our patients and create a serene experience. At Southern Dental Implant Center, we offer the following treatments for cavities:
- Tooth-Colored Fillings: In the past, metal fillings were used because of their durability over other materials. These fillings are garish and can tarnish a smile. We are proud to offer today composite plastic and resin materials that blend in with your natural tooth color and offer the same durability and adaptability as metal fillings.
- Root Canal Treatment: Root canals can help save a natural tooth - always our first priority - after a deep cavity has allowed infection to reach the pulp of a tooth. This treatment is usually followed with a crown, which fits over the natural, yet weakened, tooth.
- Restorative/Prosthesis Teeth: If a cavity has become extremely destructive to a tooth or caused it to fall out, we may replace the tooth with one of several restorative dentistry options. We offer bridges, which attach to surrounding natural teeth, crowns, and dental implants. Crowns and dentures may be attached to a dental implant - a metal post that is drilled into the jawbone and fused there, offering unmatchable stability in tooth replacement. For our patients in Memphis, dental implants are the gold standard in tooth replacement.
Before and after a cavity treatment, we offer in-office fluoride treatments, which can strengthen enamel and help stop cavities as they progress.
For more information on cavity treatment and our full breadth of cosmetic, sedation and general dentistry procedures, please contact us today to set up a free, confidential, and caring consultation.