If you’ve recently had a dental checkup and been told that you have a cavity (or two…) or you have a persistent toothache that you think might be a cavity, you’re probably wondering what happens next. While cavities are a pretty common occurrence—nearly everyone gets a cavity at least once—treating them is important to prevent further mouth pain and damage to your teeth.
Confirm that you really have a cavity
If you haven’t already seen a dentist but think you have a cavity, see a dentist for a checkup to confirm that you do in fact, have a cavity. There are a lot of dental conditions that can cause sensitivity, toothaches, and pain, such as sensitive teeth, an abscessed tooth, TMJ, or a variety of other conditions. A dentist will tell you what the source of your pain and irritation is, and if it’s a cavity.
Getting it filled
One way of treating a cavity is by filling it. Your dentist will remove the decayed area of the tooth (the cavity), clean the area, then fill it with filling material, such as gold, composite resin, silver amalgam (alloy), or porcelain. Resins and porcelain can be matched to the color of your teeth, which is good for visible areas. Silver amalgam fillings are generally inexpensive and are usually used in less visible areas. Gold fillings are more obvious and expensive, but gold is generally considered the best filling material because it is well-tolerated by the gums and is long-lasting. The type of filling your dentist uses will be based on visibility, cost, and any allergies or sensitivities you have.
Getting a crown
For decay too severe to be repaired with a filling, your dentist may give you a cap or crown instead. There are several types of crowns: resin, porcelain, ceramic, and stainless steel. The dentist will remove the damaged areas of the tooth. Then the crown will be cemented to the tooth.
Getting a root canal
If the damage from the cavity has reached the root of the tooth, your dentist may have to perform a root canal. In a root canal, the damaged nerve will be removed.
While getting a cavity can be kind of confusing and uncomfortable, knowing what to expect can make the process of getting your cavity diagnosed and fixed a little better. If you have a cavity or think you have a cavity, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible so that the tooth doesn’t decay further.
If you think you have a cavity, it’s time to see a dentist. Set up an appointment today with Weber, Mountford & Ruszkowski Family Dentistry!