Chances are, everyone will have to deal with a tooth cavity at some point in their life. In fact, tooth cavities are one of the most common dental concerns we see. Advances in modern dentistry make it possible for dentists to treat tooth cavities more conservatively and with restorations that mimic natural teeth perfectly.
Dr. Stephen Hoard is a family dentist in New Bern, NC. We offer complete care for children as well as adults. Our main concern is preventing tooth decay. Dr. Hoard recommends that you visit the dentist at least every six months for routine examination and professional teeth cleaning.
What Causes Tooth Cavities?
Plaque is a sticky substance that builds up along teeth, between teeth and around the gums. Bacteria in plaque become activated by sugar and starch in the food we eat. The bacteria produces acid which erode tooth enamel and can lead to the formation of a tooth cavity.
Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day is essential to removing plaque and bacteria from the teeth and therefore preventing cavities. You can also prevent cavities by limiting snacking between meals, avoiding sodas and candy, and drinking plenty of water.
Tooth Cavity Symptoms
We use advanced diagnostic technology like digital x-rays to identify early signs of tooth decay. Some patients may experience other symptoms like:
- White spots on teeth
- Dark or dull teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Holes in teeth
Tooth Cavity Treatment
Dr. Hoard can prevent tooth cavities with professional cleaning and sealants, which are plastic coverings that protect teeth. If you already have signs of tooth decay, Dr. Hoard may recommend the following treatment:
- Composite Dental Fillings: Composite dental fillings are placed in a single visit, used to treat minor tooth cavities.
- Porcelain Tooth Fillings: If the tooth decay is more extensive, Dr. Hoard may use a dental inlay or onlay to protect the tooth.
- Root Canal: When tooth decay progresses to the root of the tooth, it can cause extreme pain. A root canal procedure will eliminate infection from inside the tooth and restore the tooth using a dental crown to prevent future problems.