How Cavities Are Diagnosed and Treated by Dentists in Smithfield, RI

by | Jul 13, 2018 | Dentist

Cavities are one of the most commonly found problems during a routine dental checkup. While most people are familiar with this term, it’s important to fully understand how cavities are diagnosed and treated by Dentists in Smithfield RI.

What are cavities?

Simply put, cavities are holes that form in a tooth due to decay. After eating, plaque begins to form on the teeth. If not removed within 24 hours, it may harden into a substance known as tarter. This material makes it easier for bacteria to grow and thrive in the mouth, leading to tooth decay.

Cavities are diagnosed either visually or with the help of a dental x-ray. If left untreated, tooth decay will eventually spread to other teeth in the mouth. That’s why even the smallest cavities should be filled by dentists in Smithfield RI as soon as they’re discovered.

How are cavities treated?

Treating cavities involves three steps. The first step includes removing all of the tooth decay. A dentist uses a dental drill in order to do this. Once the patient’s mouth is fully numbed, the dentist will carefully remove any tooth material that shows signs of decay.

After all of the decay has been removed, the dentist will sterilize the area. Pressurized water is used to make sure no bacteria is left behind. This step is very important because if the bacteria is not rinsed away, it may lead to more decay down the road.

During the third and final step, the dentist will seal the hole with a special filling material. Both amalgam metal fillings and tooth-colored composite fillings are currently used in dental practices. Once the filling has been placed and hardened, the treatment is complete.

How can cavities be prevented?

Of course, prevention is key when it comes to cavities. Patients are advised to brush twice a day. This ensures plaque is removed before it can harden into tarter. Rinsing is recommended whenever brushing isn’t possible. Annual cleanings and checkups at a local dental clinic are also important.

Even though cavities are very common and easy to treat, it’s important to try to avoid them. Untreated cavities may lead to infection. Deep cavities may require a root canal or extraction. Visit Domain for more tips on how to keep your smile clean and healthy.

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