A cavity is a hole in your tooth that is caused by tooth decay. Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth break down the sugars and starches in your food and produce acids that erode your tooth enamel. If left untreated, a cavity can grow deeper and reach the soft inner layer of your tooth, called the pulp. This can cause pain, sensitivity, infection, and even tooth loss.
If you have a deep cavity, you may need more than just a filling to restore your tooth. Here are a few treatment options your dentist may recommend depending on the extent of the damage.
Root Canal Therapy
This is a procedure where your dentist removes the infected or damaged pulp and cleans and seals the root canal (the space inside your tooth where the pulp was). Then, your dentist places a crown (a cap that covers your tooth) or a filling to protect and restore your tooth. Root canal therapy can save your tooth from extraction and relieve your pain and discomfort.
This is a cap that covers your entire tooth and restores its shape, size, strength, and appearance. A dental crown may be needed if your tooth is too damaged or decayed to be repaired with a filling alone.
Your dentist will prepare your tooth by removing some of the enamel and dentin. Then, the provider will make a mold of your tooth and send it to a dental laboratory where a technician will fabricate your crown. In the meantime, your dentist will give you a temporary crown to wear until your permanent one is ready. Your dentist will cement the permanent crown to your tooth when the permanent device is available.
This is the removal of your tooth from its socket in the bone. Tooth extraction may be necessary if your tooth is too damaged or infected to be saved by any other treatment.
Your dentist will numb your tooth and the surrounding area with a local anesthetic, then use forceps or a surgical instrument to loosen and pull out your tooth. You may need stitches to close the wound and a gauze pad to stop the bleeding. Your dentist will provide you with after-extraction instructions to help you care for the extraction wound properly and avoid possible complications.
The best way to prevent deep cavities is to practice good oral hygiene habits and visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. You should also limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks, which can contribute to tooth decay.
If you have any signs or symptoms of a deep cavity, such as pain, sensitivity, swelling, or pus around your tooth, contact a dentist in your local area.
For more info about dental care, contact a local professional.