The world has almost 60–90% of teenagers and about 100% of adults suffering from dental cavities.
People often get confused about what to follow for their dental health and hygiene so here we present you some answers for the most often asked queries.
- None of my teeth hurt; does that mean I don’t have cavities?
There is no such evidence that proves relation between pain and cavity, which means that even though you might not experience any pain but cavities still are present. Smaller cavities are generally associated with sensitivity to cold or sweet as similarly with the wrong brushing techniques, teeth grinding, abrasive food or beverages etc. these conditions are present without any painful symptom but already in queue for dental care attention.
These conditions are treated with minimally invasive restorations at an early stage but if ignored, it is always going to deteriorate into a much painful and worse condition. It is always preferred to ask help from a dentist when a person suspects anything unusual and better get it treated earlier before you get more problems.
- What happens inside cavity?
A cavity always starts with the enamel damage that gradually grows deeper into dentin. It takes a long time for an enamel damage to develop into a cavity. There is always time to prevent decay at initial stage.
When the decay reaches the deeper layers, it will form a cavity which needs to be cleaned and filled before it reaches pulp. If the pulp is affected, a person is going to have every symptom from sensitivity to cold, sweet, hot food to severe pain on biting.
- Does a decayed tooth ever heal by itself?
A cavity is a permanent destruction to the tooth surface caused by bacteria which will never heal by it-self. There’s one and only one thing a person can do is to visit your dentist and get it cleaned and filled to stop the further decay of the tooth. If a person wishes to wait to decide for the treatment, the caries would be progressing towards the pulp therefore creating more damage to the tooth.
In case if decay reaches the pulp, only one treatment is left which is root canal treatment in which the dentist removes the infected pulp and filling is done. If the damage is even more, then it goes for extraction.
- How a dentist treats a cavity?
Firstly the dentist cleans the decayed portion on the surface of tooth, after the surface is cleaned, the dentist fills the cavity with the filling material which are either self-hardening or cures (hardens) by light. Then the surface is shaped, finished and adjusted to a height which doesn’t hinder in biting.
- What does a dentist do to relive the pain?
A dentist always tries to num the pain using topical gel and sprays, followed by injections if needed. It is always advisable to tell your dentist about your discomforts and anxiety so that he could address them properly.
- What if a person has more than one cavity? How many appointment a person generally needs?
A filling normally takes about 20-30 minutes depending upon their size. It also depends on how a person is comfortable with opening their mouth for the time required for filling. The longer a person is comfortable with their mouth open, the less time it will take to fill the cavity
Also it depends on the number of cavities. A dentist always evaluates about the damage teeth has and the most damaged tooth is given the priority in such cases.
When crowns are concerned, they always take more than one appointment. In first appointment the tooth is shaped and prepared for the crown, and the impression is taken in that sitting and a temporary crown is given. One week later the new customized crown is ready to e bonded over the prepared tooth. Adjustments are done and patient is called for a follow-up and the patients if have any discomfort is corrected.
- Who needs a filling?
When a tooth has small fractures, it usually doesn’t require filling. May be polishing and minor shape adjustments are enough for that. Bigger fractures may require fillings and in some cases, crowns.
- Is the filling is as strong as natural tooth?
Small and mediums fillings are generally strong enough to withstand some amount of force. Bigger damaged tooth may require crown if adequate strength is needed. A big filling may also provide some strength but may not work well under tremendous pressure and might end up breaking and is some cases it breaks along with tooth. In such cases, the tooth is even more damaged than before. Therefore dentists generally prefer crown in such cases.
- Fillings last for how long?
Researches show that amalgam filling has survived over 12 years and composite fillings up to 9-10 years. Crowns and veneers can survive for at least 10-20 years and even longer depending upon the care taken. Studies have shown that a filling is safe after 8-12 years and crowns lasting for 30-40 years depending on the situation and the precautions taken.
- Should one expect soreness or pain after the treatment?
A person may feel slight discomfort for a few days after your tooth has gone under drilling and filling. The symptoms only last for few days or less.
The tooth may feel more sensitive if the cavity was large than usual. The symptoms will gradually fade away after certain time. In such cases monitoring the cavity is recommended for the symptoms and the healing.
Therefore it is important to visit your dentist regularly for dental check-ups and when you feel any discomfort and pain so that you can control the situation at the earliest to avoid the risk in future.