How Can I Prevent Cavities?

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How Can I Prevent Cavities?

In order to cure cavities, the deteriorated part of the tooth and filling the hole with a material that restores the tooth’s shape and function. The type of treatment depends on how severe the cavity is and which tooth is affected. Some of the common treatments for cavities are:

  • Sealants: These are thin, plastic coatings that are painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to prevent or slow down tooth decay. They can be used for children who have newly erupted permanent teeth or adults who have early signs of decay on their molars or premolars.

  • Fillings: These are the most common treatment for cavities. They involve drilling out the decayed part of the tooth and filling it with a material such as silver amalgam, composite resin, glass ionomer, or ceramic. Fillings can last for several years, but they may need to be replaced if they wear out or crack.

  • Crowns: These are caps that cover the entire visible part of a damaged tooth. They are used for teeth that have extensive decay or weakened enamel. They can be made of metal, porcelain, resin, or a combination of these materials. Crowns require more drilling than fillings and may need a root canal treatment first if the pulp of the tooth is infected or inflamed.

  • Root canal treatment: This is a procedure that involves removing the infected or damaged pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth) and filling and sealing the space with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Following that, the tooth is repaired with a filling or a crown. Root canal treatment can save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted.

  • Extraction: This is the removal of a tooth that is too damaged to be repaired. Extraction may be necessary if the decay has reached the root of the tooth and caused an abscess (a pus-filled pocket) that cannot be treated with antibiotics or drainage. Extraction may also be done for wisdom teeth that are impacted (trapped under the gum) or cause problems for other teeth. After extraction, the gap can be filled with a bridge, an implant, or a denture.