One of the worst feelings a person can have is to suspect that they have a dental problem.
They get a twinge of pain or see a dark spot in their tooth and their stomach just sinks.
What’s the next step they should take? Their best option is to see their Racine dentist as soon as possible for an evaluation. The dentist can ease the patient’s mind and recommend the appropriate treatment, like a cavity repair appointment.
To help with that, here’s what everyone should know about cavities and getting them repaired.
Signs You Might Have a Cavity and Why You Need to Get It Repaired ASAP
- Pain or toothache
- Dark spots in the enamel
- Sensitivity to sweets
- Sensitivity to cold or heat
- Discomfort/pain when biting down.
Some of the signs of decay can also be symptoms of other dental conditions, like cracked tooth syndrome. This is why it’s so important to see a dentist. It’s the best way to get an accurate diagnosis and to know which treatment option is best.
Seeing a dentist as soon as possible reduces the patient’s risk of discomfort. For example, if a person sees their dentist regularly, the dentist is able to diagnose decay early. All that’s typically needed at this point is basic cavity repair – a small filling and the patient is good to go.
Now, imagine someone waits to see their dentist until they experience pain. At this point, the decay has likely progressed through the enamel and into the deeper layers of the tooth. It may have even entered the nerve chamber of the tooth, in which case a simple cavity repair appointment won’t suffice.
Excavating decay in the early stages can reduce a person’s risk of discomfort, as well as needing:
- A crown
- Root canal treatment
- An extraction.
When a cavity first starts out, there are usually no symptoms whatsoever. That’s why it’s so important to see a Racine dentist regularly. They can carefully evaluate the health of the teeth with the aid of x-rays and other diagnostic tools. This is the only way to catch decay in the early stages.
What You Can Expect at a Cavity Repair Appointment
Once a person has been told they need to schedule a cavity repair appointment, what can they expect?
These are the basic steps of cavity removal and repair:
1. Anesthesia and Decay Removal
First, the dentist places topical anesthetic to numb the gums. Then, they inject an anesthetic to numb the tooth. It will take approximately five minutes for the anesthetic to take full effect.
Once the patient is numb, the dentist will remove the decay using a high-speed handpiece, more commonly known as a drill. This tool sprays water to keep the tooth cool.
Sometimes, a slow speed handpiece, as well as hand tools, are used to ensure that all decay has been removed.
2. Filling the Tooth
After all of the decay has been removed, it’s time to fill the tooth.
The dentist will use a three-part system to prepare the tooth. This system includes an etchant, as well as priming and bonding agents.
Next, the dentist places a soft composite filling material into the tooth, which they’ll harden by curing with an ultraviolet light.
3. Adjusting the Bite and Polishing
Finally, the dentist will use both the high and low speed handpieces to:
- Add anatomy to the tooth
- Make sure the bite is right (they’ll check this with a form of carbon paper called articulating paper)
- Polish the filling so that it shines just like a regular tooth.
No Lectures – Just Excellent Care from Your Racine Dentist
Should people feel guilty about getting a cavity? Absolutely not!
Life happens – people are busy. They eat on the run and are so exhausted or busy that they don’t always brush and floss when they should. It happens to everyone.
The goal of every dental team, though, is not to shame their patients into coming to the dentist or caring for their teeth. The goal is to provide education, a warm and secure environment, and optimal dental care.
That is exactly what you can expect to get at the Racine dental office of Dr. Westman. No lectures – just excellent service from a warm, caring team.
Has it been a while since you’ve seen a dentist? If you’re ready to get back into the swing of things or you suspect you might have a dental issue, contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to caring for your dental needs.