How to repair a tooth with a large area of decay

Copy of iStock 1166807057 1 One of the most common dental problems seen by the team at New Smiles Dental in Sherwood, OR is cavities. Cavities, or dental decay, occur when holes develop into the natural tooth enamel. This is often a result of poor oral hygiene habits. To avoid the development of cavities, patients need to brush their teeth, floss every day, and visit their dentist regularly for cleanings and evaluations. However, if one does develop, a dentist needs to be contacted. 

What is a cavity? 

A cavity is an area of tooth decay that leaves behind decayed tooth structure of the enamel. Many very small cavities go unnoticed, while larger cavities can become painful and sensitive. When caught early, a dentist can offer treatments to help patients keep the cavity from spreading further into the tooth. However, if a large area of decay develops, patients might need to consider their treatment options. 

Fillings for areas of decay 

In most cases, decay is addressed with a filling. A filling is a composite resin material that is placed into the tooth to seal it off and fill the hole left behind after the decayed portion of the tooth is removed by the dentist. But larger cavities may require different care. 

What happens for teeth with larger cavities? 

A patient with a very large cavity may still benefit from a filling, but might also need a dental crown fabricated and bonded onto the tooth to offer extra strength and protection. Alternatively, a very large cavity that has infected the inner tissues of the tooth, known as the dental pulp, might instead require a procedure known as root canal therapy, which removes the inner portion of the tooth, fills it with gutta percha, and seals off the tooth with composite resin and a custom dental crown. 

Schedule a visit today with New Smiles Dental 

If you believe you have a cavity or other dental problems that requires attention and you live in the area of Sherwood, OR, we welcome you to book a consultation visit and initial evaluation with our team at 17680 SW Handley, Suite #101. Our team is here to help, and can be reached for an appointment at (503) 925-9595.      

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