HOW DO I TREAT A CAVITY?
Cariology is a branch of dentistry that consists not only of treating tooth decay, but also of interrupting and preventing this type of damage to the tissues of the teeth. These dental treatments aim to maintain tissue health while preventing dental damage. This high-quality care also includes cleaning and restoring damaged dental tissue, ensuring lasting healing, and maintaining long-term oral health.
WHAT IS A CAVITY?
A cavity is an infectious disease of the tooth. It damages the tooth enamel – the dentin – and sometimes even the dental pulp. This disease is caused by bacteria present in dental plaque. The bacteria converts food deposits into acid residues that attack dental enamel. High sugar intake and poor oral hygiene can lead to cavities. If care is not provided quickly, decay progresses, potentially destroying the tooth.
The different stages of a cavity
There are different stages in the formation of a cavity, namely:
- First, only the enamel is affected, without the appearance of any noticeable pain.
- Left untreated, the decay then reaches the dentin, which forms the main mass of both the crown and the root.
- Sensitivity to cold and heat then appears. The cavity can also reach the dental pulp (or inner part of the tooth) – the point at which a sharp, persistent pain develops. To avoid cavity progression, rapid treatment is crucial.
Your dental health depends on the treatment of cavities
Dentists at Smile and Care dental clinics are trained to treat all types of cavities in adults and children alike.
Cavities can be different shapes. The cavity itself can vary in depth.
Two techniques are necessary:
1. Direct technique: simple, economical, and aesthetic
This technique involves placing a plastic-phase material in the residual cavity and hardening it. Since the composite resin materials match tooth colour exactly, these restorations are invisible. Composites are glued to the tooth once its surface has been chemically primed. As composites are malleable, the original shape of the tooth can be recreated.
These composite resins are also used in dental fractures, especially on front teeth, when the tooth piece is not too large.
This extremely rapid technique is done in a single appointment.
2. Indirect technique: a precise and aesthetic reconstruction
When the tooth is too damaged, decayed, or fractured, it cannot be reconstructed directly in the mouth. The dentist must then make an onlay, a piece of composite resin that is glued onto the tooth, restoring the damaged tooth’s cavity. This technique requires taking an impression of the cavity that needs to be sealed in the tooth, then having a laboratory make the missing part of the tooth. The onlay has the advantage of guaranteeing an exact and aesthetic reconstruction, while being both solid and durable. The dentist then glues the onlay onto the affected tooth.
This type of reconstruction requires two appointments spaced a few days apart – a first appointment to make the impressions, and a second one to glue the onlay to the tooth.