Tooth cavity is a hole that is the result of dental caries, an infectious disease caused by certain types of acid-producing bacteria. It does serious damages to your oral health and if treated in time, can lead to severe pain, infection, inflammation and even tooth loss. In the initial stages, dental caries can be noticed in the form of a small chalky area. However, if they are not treated, they gradually develop into large, brown cavities. The only way to prevent the occurrence of dental caries, and the resultant tooth cavities, is to maintain proper oral hygiene and get regular check-ups done by your dentists.
Treating Dental Cavities
The occurrence of a dental cavity means that you ignored the problem in the initial stages. After a cavity has developed in your tooth, it is better to visit your dentist. He will clean your tooth of the cavity and cover the resulting hole with filing. To know how a doctor treats tooth cavity, read on.
- The first thing that the dentist will do is numb the area around the decayed tooth, using a local anesthetic.
- Next, he will remove the decayed area with the help of drill, air abrasion instrument or a laser. The choice of instrument will depend upon a number of factors, like dentist's comfort level, location and extent of the decay, and so on.
- The dentist will test the area that he has cleaned, during the decay removal process, to ensure that the decay has been removed.
- After the removal of decay is complete, he will prepare the space for the filling. For the purpose, he will clean the cavity of any bacteria or debris.
- In case the tooth decay is somewhere near the tooth, he might put in a liner, made of glass ionomer, composite resin or other material, so as to protect the nerve. Otherwise, he will go to the next step straightaway.
- The dentist will cover the hole in your tooth with filling and follow it with finishing and polishing.
In case of tooth-colored fillings, some additional steps need to be undertaken, such as:
- After the decay is removed and the area is cleaned, dentist will apply the filling in layers.
- In between, he will use a special light, which is intended to "cure" or harden each layer.
- After all the layers have been applied, he will smooth the composite material, to give it the desired shape.
- Finally, he will trim off any excess material and polish the final restoration.