Dental cavities are not only painful, they put your oral health at risk. If you have dental cavities, treatment from Dr. Rohinton J. Patel can help. Dr. Patel offers a variety of restorative dentistry procedures to treat cavities and restore your dental health and appearance. To find out which treatment for cavities is right for you, schedule a consultation at Dr. Patel's Honolulu, HI practice.
The Dangers of Dental Cavities
Dental cavities are holes that form in the teeth from regular exposure to bacterial acids. Dental cavities may begin as small holes, but they will continue to grow if left untreated. Eventually, a cavity can reach the root canal of the tooth, where the dental nerves, pulp tissue, and blood vessels are housed, leading to a painful root canal infection. Root canal infections can severely damage the blood vessels, which nourish the teeth, and cause the tooth to die. The tooth may turn gray as a result, fall out, or require extraction to restore oral health.
Treatments for Dental Cavities
Fortunately, there are many treatments available for restoring teeth damaged by dental cavities. Although not the most aesthetically pleasing, traditional metal fillings made of gold or silver amalgam continue to be a common treatment for dental cavities, but modern treatments are more aesthetically pleasing, allowing those who suffer form dental cavities to enjoy a completely restored smile.
Some popular treatments for treating cavities include:
- Tooth-colored fillings: Tooth-colored fillings are customized to match the surrounding tooth, providing one of the most cosmetically pleasing options for treating dental cavities. Tooth-colored fillings are made of composite resin and applied directly to the teeth, preserving more of the tooth's structure than is possible with traditional metal fillings.
- Inlays: Inlays are another tooth-colored option for dental cavities. Inlays are used to treat cavities within the cusps of the molars, or the biting surface of the back teeth, and are made to match the color of the surrounding tooth for a seamless blend.
- Onlays: Onlays, also called partial crowns, may be used when a cavity is too big for treatment with tooth-colored dental fillings or inlays. Onlays are also tooth-colored to restore the beauty of the smile while also restoring oral health.
- Porcelain dental crowns: When cavities are too severe for treatment with dental fillings, inlays, or onlays, porcelain dental crowns may provide a solution. Porcelain crowns are tooth-shaped restorations designed to fit completely over a damaged tooth, restoring dental appearance, strength, and function. Dental crowns may also be used to protect teeth with large fillings from future breakage.
Preventing Dental Cavities
By taking some simple steps everyday, you can help prevent dental cavities and protect your smile. Some things you can do to protect your dental health include:
- Brush the teeth twice a day for a full two minutes each brushing
- Floss everyday, being sure to floss along each side of each tooth
- Limit sugary, acidic foods and drinks
- Brush after meals whenever possible
- Rinse with water when you are unable to brush the teeth after eating
- See your dentist every six months for an exam and cleaning
Enjoy Restored Oral Health
If you suffer from dental damage, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Patel to enjoy restored oral health.