Tooth decay is the most commonly diagnosed dental health concern. Tooth decay is a progressive condition that can worsen when left untreated. Decay compromises the structure of the affected tooth and can allow bacteria to enter the root canal causing painful symptoms. Poor oral hygiene usually causes tooth decay. Patients can prevent decay through preventative dental care and a good at-home oral hygiene routine.
Dr. Carter Perkins provides compassionate and comprehensive general dentistry focused on disease prevention and patient education. Our Dunnellon, FL dentist office is equipped with state-of-the-art laser technology for cavity detection before it is visible to the human eye.
Dr. Perkins recommends that patients visit our Dunnellon, FL dentist office at least once every six months to prevent the spread or progression of advanced dental health concerns. Preventive dental care can help catch developing oral health problems early for conservative and efficient treatment.
Treatment Options for Tooth Decay
Diagnosed in the initial stage tooth decay can be conservatively treated using a routine dental filling treatment. Dental fillings are a long-lasting, durable solution for mild to moderate tooth decay. For patients with more advanced tooth decay, an inlay or onlay, a root canal or tooth extraction may be necessary to restore oral health. Dr. Perkins will always attempt to preserve as much of the affected tooth as possible to help maintain the natural smile.
- Dental filling: In the early stage, tooth decay may not have any symptoms and can only be discovered at your routine visits. A filling is a conservative treatment used to preserve the tooth when weakened from a tooth cavity. The filling is will restore the tooth’s strength and protect it from further damage and decay.
- Inlay & Onlay: Onlays and inlays are commonly used to treat large surface areas of decay or damage. When a cavity is too large for a filling, an onlay or inlay will typically be used.
- Root Canal: When left untreated, a tooth cavity can become severe resulting in decay that reaches the tooth’s root canal. This allows bacteria to enter the tooth, creating an infection that can cause extreme pain or infection. Root canals are necessary to prevent a tooth extraction. Root canals will remove the infection and decay without compromising the integrity of the jaw or bite.
- Tooth Extraction: A tooth extraction will be performed if the decay is too severe and Dr. Perkins feels the tooth cannot be saved with any of the above treatments.
Dental Cavity FAQs
Can you fill a cavity without an anesthetic?
Cavities can be filled without numbing or anesthetic. Technology is making it easier to perform procedures pain-free, with no numbing. Anesthetic is still commonly used, but small enough cavities can be filled without it if that is a concern.
What happens if a cavity is extremely deep?
If a cavity is extremely deep it may reach nerve tissue. This is the deepest layer in the tooth, and it can be very painful. If decay reaches the nerve you will need to have a root canal procedure performed to save your natural tooth.
What happens if you don’t fill cavities?
A cavity will continue to eat away at the surface enamel of the tooth until it reaches the root and effectively destroys the tooth from the inside out. The cavity will spread and cause more and more damage until it has decayed the tooth to an irreversible point. It is wise to have cavities filled as soon as possible once they have been detected.
Visit Our Dunnellon, FL Dentist Office
Preventative dental care is the most effective way to prevent tooth decay. Bi-annual visits to our Dunnellon, FL dentist office for professional cleanings and a thorough oral health exam help keep teeth clean and healthy. In between visits, brushing and flossing twice a day is a patient’s best defense against developing cavities.
Perkins Dentistry welcomes new and returning patients to our Dunnellon, FL dentist office. We accept new patients from Dunnellon, Bellvue, Citrus Springs, Inverness, Crystal River, and all of Citrus County. To request a dental health exam, contact our dentist office at (352) 292-8749 or request an appointment online today.