Treating Cavities at Shertok Smiles
Cavities are the single most common preventable oral health issue among patients of all ages, from children to adults. At Shertok Smiles, Dr. Shertok can help you get the treatment you need to eliminate a cavity and prevent it from progressing. Give us a call today to learn more about our approach to cavity treatment or to schedule your consultation.
What Is a Cavity? How Are They Formed?
A cavity is a hole that is formed in your tooth due to the erosive acids that are released by oral bacteria. As oral bacteria feed on particles in your mouth, they release a strong acid that attacks the enamel, dentin, and cementum, which compose the hard, outer layers of your teeth.
The first stage of a cavity is called a “soft spot,” and is essentially a weakened section of enamel. With fluoride treatment and proper oral hygiene, soft spots can be reversed. If you do not seek treatment, the enamel may continue to weaken, and a cavity will form.
Over time, this cavity can continue to grow, reaching the soft, vulnerable “pulp” that supports your tooth. If this happens, your tooth will become infected, indicating that you need a root canal to save it and restore its structure.
Cavities are caused by a number of different factors. Poor oral hygiene is one of the biggest causes of cavities. If you do not brush thoroughly twice per day and floss once per day, you have a higher risk of developing a cavity.
Other risk factors include reduced saliva flow, tobacco use, a diet high in sugars, and gum recession, which can expose the soft, more vulnerable cementum to high levels of oral bacteria.
Treating Small Cavities with Fillings
Most small cavities can be treated with a filling. Fillings are inexpensive, easy to place, and offer a simple method to restore the chewing surface of your tooth. At Shertok Smiles, we are a mercury-free practice and use composite, tooth-colored fillings.
The process begins with the numbing and cleaning of your mouth. Then, Dr. Shertok will use a dental drill to remove all of the damaged, decayed enamel from your tooth. When this is complete, it will be rinsed, and then a special dental resin is placed onto the tooth. Dr. Shertok will sculpt and shape this resin to fill the cavity and restore the chewing surface of your tooth. The entire procedure usually takes less than an hour.
Treating Large Cavities With Dental Crowns
If you have a larger cavity, Dr. Shertok may recommend a dental crown to restore your tooth. Dental crowns are usually made of porcelain and are designed to cover up your entire tooth, protecting its structure and preventing further decay.
Having a crown placed usually requires two appointments. During treatment, your mouth will be cleaned and numbed. Dr. Shertok will trim the tooth to remove damaged enamel and create a strong platform to which the crown can be attached. Next, he will take impressions of your teeth, and send them to an outside dental lab, where your permanent crown will be custom-made for you. This usually takes 2-3 weeks, so you’ll be sent home with a temporary crown. Once we receive your permanent crown, you’ll come in for a follow-up appointment, and the crown will be bonded permanently onto your tooth.
Get Treatment for Cavities in Cincinnati Today!
Once they form, cavities do not go away on their own. An untreated cavity will only get worse. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that you may need a more costly, time-consuming treatment, like a root canal and dental crown.
If you think you have a cavity, contact Shertok Smiles now at (513) 721-5924 to schedule your consultation, or stop by our office at 19 Garfield Place, Suite 414, Cincinnati, OH 45202 to make your appointment in person.