3 Ways To Treat A Cavity

Each time you eat, you are feeding more than your own body. The bacteria in your mouth feast upon the carbohydrates that you ingest. However, when oral bacteria feed, they release harmful acid that demineralizes your tooth enamel to cause decay. Once the decay progresses, a cavity develops. This hole must be promptly treated to avoid oral bacteria from invading the interior chambers of the tooth and causing an infection. Here are a few applications that your dentist may use to treat a cavity:

Porcelain Inlays

A porcelain inlay, which is generally used for large cavities, is a custom-designed application used to fill the cavity in your tooth. To ensure the inlay will fit your tooth precisely, the dentist creates a mold or impression of your tooth and sends it to a dental laboratory, where the porcelain inlay will be fabricated.

Once the inlay is back from the lab, a second dental visit is scheduled to place the inlay inside the tooth. Your dentist will cement the inlay into place so that it can protect the tooth from further decay and provide stable structural support.

Since the porcelain is tooth-colored, the inlay looks just like natural tooth material.

Dental Composite Material

Dental composite can be used for smaller cavities. The composite is made from resin that has a putty-like consistency. Once the dentist applies the resin to the tooth, a specialized light is used to cure or harden the material.

Generally, dental composite fillings can be completed during a single dental visit, so they are considered direct applications. 

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings are made from a combination of copper, tin, silver, zinc and mercury. These fillings are more likely to be used for back teeth because they are not tooth-colored.

Unlike porcelain inlays, amalgam fillings are not bonded to your tooth. Instead, they are simply placed in the pocket of the tooth. Your dentist creates a lip or edge around the perimeter of the pocket by undercutting the tooth to ensure that the filling is held in place.

In addition, the application can be performed during a single dental appointment. Amalgam fillings tend to cost less than porcelain inlays and composite resin fillings.

If you have a cavity that needs to be filled, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your area today. The location and size of the cavity in your mouth will be reviewed to determine the best filling options for you. To learn more, speak with someone like Dr. David K. Skeels.