“Soft enamel” is one of those myths that people still believe in today.
It’s tempting to blame poor oral health on genetics.
But if you think that tooth decay runs in your family because of weak enamel, then you may be surprised to learn the truth.
Is Soft Enamel a Real Thing?
Yes, it is possible to have weak enamel. But it’s a very rare condition, called amelogenesis imperfecta. It’s a developmental defect in which enamel doesn’t properly form. If you had this condition, you would notice that your teeth look brown, mottled, pitted, and splotchy.
If you had this condition, you would likely already know it. But it doesn’t hurt to have your dentist check your teeth to make sure.
The Real Cause of Tooth Decay
While it’s possible for some people to have an enamel defect making their teeth prone to cavities, the biggest factor behind decay is controllable.
You could be actively weakening your enamel by regularly exposing your teeth to acids in your diet.
Soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, wine, tea, and coffee are all acidic beverages that can wear down tooth enamel over time. Regularly sipping on virtually anything other than water puts your teeth at risk of decay since weak enamel lets cavity-causing bacteria attack your teeth.
How to Prevent Cavities
You can help prevent tooth decay and the need for dental restorations such as fillings and crowns by limiting how often you enjoy acidic or sugary drinks and shortening the amount of time it takes you to finish one. This will reduce the length of time your enamel is weakened by acid.
Remineralizing toothpastes and rinses containing fluoride are a great way to strengthen “soft” enamel. Ask your dentist for more ways to lower your risk for tooth decay.
Posted on behalf of:
1257 Annapolis Rd.
Odenton, MD 21113
Cavities are caused by bacteria, which can deeply affect teeth. Is the fix really as simple as plugging an empty hole in the tooth with a filling?
The Drill-and-Fill Technique
First of all, dental x-rays are essential to helping your dentist plan treatment. He or she has to know in advance how big the cavity is. Without an x-ray, your dentist may as well try placing a filling blindfolded!
Your dentist makes sure that every bit of tooth infected with the cavity bacteria is removed. The prepared hole is carefully shaped to hold a filling. Next, a liner is usually placed to give the filling a snug fit. Finally, the filling material is mixed and set in place.
Avoid Future Cavities
Just because it has a filling doesn’t mean that a tooth is not invincible to cavities! You’ll have to be even more careful about keeping that tooth clean. Bacteria love to hang out around the edges of fillings.
You can prevent getting another cavity by keeping up with brushing, flossing, and fluoride use.
When More Than a Filling is Needed
Depending on where a cavity forms on a tooth and how large it is, your dentist will recommend different treatment. If tooth decay reaches the nerve chamber of the tooth, a root canal is usually necessary. If large pieces of a tooth are lost to cavities, then a crown is best for holding your tooth together. An indirect filling (onlay or inlay) is a midrange option when the cavity is too large for a filling but not big enough for a crown.
Think you have a tooth that needs a filling? Contact your dentist to schedule an exam.
Posted on behalf of:
Smiles by Seese
610 Jetton St #250
Davidson, NC 28036
If you’ve been told that your tooth can’t be repaired with a filling, it doesn’t automatically mean that the next phase of treatment is a crown! Dental inlays and onlays are unique, custom-fitted restorations that can preserve your tooth without the need for a full-coverage restoration like a gold or porcelain crown. In fact, inlays and onlays are often referred to as “three-quarter crowns” because they are capable of preserving such a large portion of the tooth.
Every inlay and onlay is custom-designed from an impression of your tooth, the same way a crown would be. The decay or damaged enamel is removed and prepared to support the bonding of the prosthesis, an impression is taken, and a temporary restoration is placed in the mouth. The impression is then sent off to a laboratory where a custom porcelain (or gold) restoration is made to fit the tooth. Within 2 weeks the permanent restoration is ready to be delivered. A short appointment is all that is needed, and the tooth is gently conditioned before the inlay or onlay is bonded into place. The end result looks like a whole tooth, without the need for a full coverage crown! Some dental offices are even equipped with on site equipment that is able to create a customized inlay or onlay that very same day, only requiring one treatment appointment.
One of the reasons inlays and onlays are a wonderful option, is because they allow your dentist to preserve as much healthy tooth enamel as possible. That means they fit better, look better, and help your teeth last longer!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Mitul Patel
When you have a cavity, it must be filled. If it’s not, the tooth decay will progress, causing pain and eventually destroying the entire tooth, forcing you to have it pulled and replaced.
Your Alexander City dentist will diagnose any cavities at your annual examination and sometimes confirm it with a dental x-ray. Once that happens, the decay will have to be removed and the resulting hole will have to be filled with some sort of material to avoid further decay.
The procedure is as easy as 1-2-3:
1. The dentist will remove the decay by using a mechanical drill or a laser.
2. Next, the dentist will clean the drilled area to make sure the surface is smooth and the decay is gone.
3. The dentist will fill the tooth by adding the filling material in layers, applying heat when necessary to set the material.
Following placement of a filling, there is rarely a problem, although some people may experience a sensitivity to hot or cold, lasting just a few weeks. If the sensitivity continues, you should contact your dentist to see if something can be done.
Other rare side effects include allergies to the filling material causing a rash or itching. Or the patient may experience a sharp pain when biting, or discomfort when the filling comes in contact with another metal. Pain almost always indicates something serious like an improperly filled tooth, or further decay. Again, you should contact your dentist immediately if something seems wrong.
Posted on behalf of Toothmasters
You may not always know when you have a cavity. Sometimes decay is very small and causes obvious signs of sensitivity when you eat or drink certain foods. Other times decay may be very large before there are symptoms that show something could be wrong. For instance, abscesses on the gums near the root of the tooth are a signal that the nerve of the tooth has been infected with tooth decay.
Dentists want to treat decay in its earliest forms. This preserves natural and healthy tooth enamel so that your teeth can experience a longer life span. Removing a small area of decay and treating it with a tooth colored filling can prevent pain later on, dental emergencies, and expensive treatment costs. Unfortunately delaying treatment will only allow the decay to worsen and develop deeper into the tooth.
A tooth that once only needed a small filling can quickly become so infected that the only possible restoration is root canal therapy with a permanent crown. It’s also worth mentioning that decay can spread throughout your mouth, from one tooth to another. Only having one cavity can turn into two cavities before your next dental visit. The quicker you have the disease treated, the greater success at maintaining a healthy smile years down the road.
Routine x-rays are an effective way for your dentist to screen for new areas of decay. Clinical examinations allow the chewing surfaces to be examined, but x-rays will show the tight contacts between teeth that often harbor small areas of decay. They also show decay that forms below the chewing surface. If your dentist finds a cavity, it’s highly recommended that you have it treated long before any severe pain makes itself evident.
Posted on behalf of Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.
When your dentist tells you that you have a cavity, you may not be inclined to have it treated right away unless it’s actually causing you some discomfort. Some cavities have absolutely no symptoms, no matter how large they are. Other people may find that even the tiniest area of decalcification causes some sensitivity. If your dentist identifies an area of decay in its early stages, it’s best to have it treated as soon as possible.
Early treatment prevents complications due to the decay becoming progressively larger. Large areas of decay can cause the entire crown portion of the tooth to break off or need a crown. Untreated decay will continue to cause destruction of nearby enamel in the same tooth, until it has severely broken down or eroded into the nerve chamber. Once the nerve of a tooth becomes infected, it will abscess and typically cause severe pain. By this point, a filling is no longer effective treatment, and the tooth will require root canal therapy in order to prevent extraction.
Early treatment prevents decay from spreading to adjacent teeth. Even a very small cavity between the teeth can “jump” to the next tooth. These areas are in close proximity to one another, and any lack of hygiene between the teeth (such as flossing) will encourage the decay to spread even faster. Instead of one tooth to have restored, you’ll have two.
Early treatment by your Duluth GA dentist keeps costs lower. Small fillings obviously cost less to have performed than a large filling, or even a root canal and crown. The longer the decay goes untreated, the bigger and more expensive it becomes to treat.
Posted on behalf of Rowe Family Dental Care
Routine preventive care appointments with your dentist and hygienist can help you avoid the troubles of large cavities. Intermittent appointments can be very effective in diagnosing decay while it is small, easier to treat, and in many cases before any symptoms of tooth decay exist.
Sometimes though, tooth decay can advance very rapidly. Or maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist and when you arrive for a check up you’ve found out that there is a very large cavity in one of your teeth. Large decay is important to treat very quickly, because if left untreated it can spread to other teeth or result in the unavoidable loss of the infected tooth.
If decay is large, it will require placing a dental crown on top of the tooth. This is because decay must be removed and the surrounding tooth enamel prepped before supporting a restoration. Routine fillings cannot structurally hold up to the pressures of biting or chewing in areas where there is little healthy tooth enamel left. Instead, a crown is placed over the prepared tooth so that it can continue functioning as normal. This also protects adjacent teeth from catching decay, and prevents the infection from spreading to the nerve.
Perhaps the decay was so severe that it did reach into the nerve chamber of the tooth. Before placing a crown on this tooth, the diseased nerve tissue must be removed and the nerve canal filled with a medicated filling material. Placing a crown over a tooth with an infected nerve will simply result in recurrent tooth abscesses as it attempts to drain the infection. Crowns and root canal therapycan greatly extend the life of teeth that have experienced large areas of decay.
Posted on behalf of Juban Dental Care
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