Restore Oral Health by Treating Cavities
By Maryam Motlagh D.M.D on January 12, 2017
Many people feel self-conscious when they learn that a cavity has formed. However, a cavity can develop even when a patient is practicing good oral hygiene habits. At Aesthetic Smiles, we are happy to provide restorative dentistry treatments that will strengthen the teeth and improve a patient’s overall oral health. As long as a cavity is treated in a timely manner, oral strength can be restored before any further complications develop. Even if decay has progressed by the time restorative dentistry treatment is sought, our dentists offer a full range of treatments for cavities that allow our Portland, OR patients to repair areas affected by decay.
The majority of cavities can be sufficiently treated with a dental filling. Dental fillings are applied using a direct bonding procedure. This means that a dental compound is applied and shaped directly to the surface of the affected tooth (after it has been cleaned to remove damaged tooth structure).
At Aesthetic Smiles, we offer white, or tooth-colored, fillings. These fillings are more beneficial than silver mercury fillings, because they treat dental cavities without compromising the appearance of the smile. Unlike metal fillings, composite fillings do not react to changes in temperature. This minimizes stress to the natural teeth and diminishes the risk of structural damage. Additionally, white fillings bond to the natural tooth enamel, thus improving the overall strength of the tooth. Dental fillings can successfully treat minor to moderate areas of tooth decay to eliminate dental cavities and improve oral health.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays or onlays may be required to treat lager dental cavities. These restorative dentistry treatments can address larger areas of decay than a traditional dental filling. An inlay is like a large dental filling. It can cover the biting surface of the tooth to restore oral strength when a cavity is more severe.
An onlay is larger than an inlay, and is often referred to as a partial crown. This restoration can replace large areas of damaged tooth enamel, including the cusps (or bumps) of the back teeth.
Both inlays and onlays are placed using an indirect bonding technique, just like a dental crown. This means that the restoration is fabricated in our dental laboratory and then is bonded to the affected tooth with a dental compound. As with a dental filling, an inlay or onlay can strengthen a tooth that has been damaged by tooth decay, and restore a full set of oral functions.
If a dental cavity is not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, decay will continue to spread. These significant areas of decay can’t be adequately treated with a filling, inlay, or onlay. Severe dental decay will require treatment with a dental crown. A dental crown fits over the entire surface area of the tooth, like a small cap, to provide strength and protection on all sides. A dental crown treats the most advances stages of tooth decay and prevents tooth loss.
It is important to treat dental cavities before decay can destroy more tooth enamel. If you are in need of cavity treatment and would like to learn more about your restorative dentistry options, contact us at your earliest convenience.
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