Filling the Holes: Treatment for Cavities
Modern restorative dentistry has made the treatment of cavities a relative breeze. At one time, having a cavity meant going under a drill and having your tooth reconstructed with silver amalgam or some other conspicuous metal substance. Now, however, patients restore function and health to teeth affected by cavities without compromising the aesthetics of their smiles.
Dr. Peter Hellwig offers a variety of effective treatment options for cavities at his San Diego, CA restorative and cosmetic dentistry practice. Dr. Hellwig provides exceptional dental care in a comfortable setting where patients’ needs, safety, and overall satisfaction are always put first and foremost. If you are suffering from a cavity, you can depend on Dr. Hellwig and his team to restore your smile to optimal health while introducing you to a dental experience unlike any you’ve ever had.
How do cavities form?
Cavities form when the protective enamel that coats your teeth becomes eroded or otherwise damaged. Although enamel is extremely strong and durable, it is not invulnerable to the effects of bacteria and trauma. Once it has been compromised, enamel does not repair itself or regenerate. The underlying layers of the teeth are far more delicate. After they have been exposed to outside elements, they are far more susceptible to damage, including the holes and crevices clinically known as dental caries, but that we more commonly call cavities.
How are cavities treated?
The type of treatment best suited to your particular case depends on the severity of your cavity. Dr. Hellwig offers the following treatments for cavities:
- Tooth-colored fillings: Today’s fillings are composed of a composite resin material that matches the color of the tooth, unlike the silver amalgam fillings of yesteryear. While tooth-colored fillings were once less durable and dependable than metal fillings, this is no longer the case. In terms of their aesthetic appeal, they are clearly the superior choice. They are also free from mercury, unlike silver amalgam fillings.
- Inlays and onlays: In cases of larger cavities, it may not be possible for the tooth to support a tooth-colored filling, in which case an inlay or onlay may be the more suitable treatment option. Inlays and onlays are custom-crafted ceramic restorations that are bonded directly to the tooth to replace the missing structure. Inlays are crafted to fit within the cusps of a tooth while onlays extend to cover one or more of the cusps.
- Dental crowns: If the cavity is particularly large, then the remaining tooth structure may not be sufficient to support a filling, inlay, or onlay. Dr. Hellwig will then use a custom-crafted dental crown to cover the entire visible surface area of the damaged tooth. A dental crown replicates the entire tooth, restoring form, function, and health to the mouth. Perhaps most importantly, it allows for the preservation of the natural tooth, protecting it from further damage.
Learn More about Treatment for Cavities
To learn more about the treatments available for cavities, or to schedule your initial appointment with Dr. Peter Hellwig, please contact our restorative and cosmetic dentistry practice today.