Treatment for Cavities and Tooth Decay In Gardens, Cape Town
Regular dental check-ups can identify tooth decay and cavities before they become more serious. The sooner you seek care, the better your chances are of reversing the earliest stages of tooth decay and preventing it from progressing.
Treatment of cavities depends on how severe they are. The various treatment options for tooth decay and cavities include:
- Early-stage fluoride treatment:
If your cavity just started, fluoride treatment can help restore your tooth’s enamel. Fluoride can be used in various forms to either stop or repair the damage that has occurred due to tooth decay. Professional fluoride treatments are generally quick and can be applied directly to your teeth. Fluoride comes in the form of a gel, varnish, foam, or solution.
When tooth decay has progressed beyond the earliest stages, fillings are the main treatment option. The decayed portion of the tooth is drilled away and replaced with a strong filling made of either composite resins, porcelain, silver, gold, or amalgam. Fillings will essentially stop the cavity from growing any larger.
Larger cavities and extensive tooth decay may require a crown instead of a filling. A crown is a custom-fitted covering that replaces your tooth’s entire natural structure. To place a crown, the outer portion of your tooth as well as any decay is first removed. An impression of your tooth will be taken, and you will be fitted with a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready for fitting. Crowns can be made from various materials, including high strength porcelain, resin, porcelain fused to metal, gold, or other materials.
When the tooth decay becomes so severe that it reaches the inner material of your tooth (pulp), you may need a root canal. A root canal is performed to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of extracting it. Your tooth will first be numbed before removing the pulp. The root canal inside of the tooth will then be cleaned and shaped. Medicine may be applied inside the tooth in order to get rid of any bacteria. Finally, the root canal will be filled with a rubber-like substance and a crown or filling will be placed on the tooth to restore and strengthen it.
If the tooth decay has caused severe damage that cannot be repaired or restored by means of any other treatment options, the tooth will need to be extracted. The damaged and decayed tooth will first be numbed and then removed. Once the tooth is successfully extracted, a post-extraction regime will be recommended.
Having a tooth removed will leave a gap that can potentially cause your other teeth to shift. If possible, you should consider getting a bridge or a dental implant to replace the missing tooth.
You may notice increased pain and swelling after a tooth extraction.