Cavities are often associated with having poor dental hygiene habits or a dental issue that primarily affects children. Tooth decay can affect individuals in different stages of life. The contributing factors to decay vary. Individuals who do not get routine dental exams might have cavities for years and not know that they exist.
There is a common misconception that cavities appear as tooth discolorations. Some cavities are translucent in appearance and may be difficult or impossible to identify without special equipment. Dentists have access to the equipment needed to detect cavities and can offer several treatment options. The following points identify a few options available to individuals who have cavities.
Dental Fillings and Crowns
The condition of decaying teeth is a primary determining factor in whether or not restorations are recommended. Dental fillings can be used to restore teeth that are not in advanced stages of decay. Some cavities cover larger portions of teeth or have other complex issues. These teeth may need to be treated using dental crowns. The purpose of using the restorations is to salvage teeth and prevent further decay. Dentists have a variety of material options to use for dental fillings and crowns. Some of the material options mimic the appearance of natural teeth colors. Those options can provide a seamless restoration for individuals concerned about having noticeable signs of dental work.
Pain and sensitivity are common reasons why individuals seek dentists. When they discover that untreated cavities are the cause of their mouth sensations, the damage may have spread beyond the surfaces of their teeth. Infected tooth roots require aggressive actions to preserve teeth. The infection must be removed before restorations are implemented. The usual approach is to perform root canals prior to putting dental crowns into place.
Dentists aim to preserve natural teeth when possible. However, severe tooth decay might warrant a need for extractions. Sometimes cavities can be accompanied by other oral complications such as gum disease. If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, extracting teeth as an emergency intervention is often necessary. There are also situations when individuals have a variety of dental issues and want to get their teeth extracted. Their dental care providers will likely explain the pros and cons of their decision. However, they will likely honor the request to get one or more teeth extracted. A dentist is the best resource to use if you think that you have cavities or if you have not had a dental exam in a while.