At the cosmetic, general, and restorative dentistry practice of Dr. Van, DDS, we offer solutions to a comprehensive range of dental problems, including cavities. Cavities are probably the most widely known of all oral health maladies; we are taught to fear and try to prevent them from the time we are young children, and rightly so. Yet, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92 percent of adults aged 20 to 64 have had cavities in their permanent teeth. Startlingly, adults in this age group have an average of nearly 14 teeth with surfaces that are affected by tooth decay.
Like any other dental problem, cavities can be treated most effectively when diagnosed in their earliest stages. By seeking treatment for cavities at our Mountain View, CA dental practice before they have a chance to spread, our patients are often able to avoid more serious damage to their teeth and therefore more extensive procedures such as root canal therapy and crown placement. This is why Dr. Van encourages his patients to seek diagnosis of potential issues as soon as they arise and to visit his practice at least twice a year as advised by the American Dental Association, even if they feel their teeth and gums are in perfect health.
If you are experiencing tooth pain or if you have teeth that show any signs of structural damage, or if you haven’t had a comprehensive oral exam within the past year, we urge you to schedule your initial appointment with Dr. Van today.
What Treatments Are Available for Cavities?
There are several possible ways to treat cavities. The treatment method that Dr. Van uses in any particular case will depend on the extent of the cavity and whether it has reached one or more of the root canals of the tooth. Among the treatments for cavities available at Dr. Van’s practice are:
- Tooth-Colored Fillings: Tooth-colored fillings are made of a composite resin material that is applied to the tooth after the decaying portion has been removed. Tooth-colored fillings are best reserved for filling relatively small cavities. The material used in these fillings is entirely free of mercury, unlike silver amalgam fillings, and blends inconspicuously into virtually any smile.
- Inlays and Onlays: Inlays and onlays are porcelain restorations used to fill larger cavities than would be appropriate for tooth-colored fillings. Inlays are crafted to fit within the cusps of a tooth, while onlays extend to at least one of the cusps of the tooth. Both look extremely natural and are strong and resilient once bonded into place.
- Dental Crowns: If a cavity is particularly large, then Dr. Van may need to cover the entire remaining tooth structure with a custom dental crown. A dental crown would replicate the entire visible surface area of a tooth to restore its appearance and function while preserving as much of the underlying natural tooth structure as possible. A dental crown would also be used to seal off the tooth if root canal surgery were necessary due to a cavity’s having exposed the dental pulp within a root canal, causing it to become infected.
Learn More about Treatments for Cavities
To learn more about treatment options for cavities, please contact our cosmetic, general, and restorative dentistry practice today.