Anyone can get cavities, and they are nothing to look forward to. Most people don’t even notice when a cavity begins to form. Instead, many become aware of cavities when their dentist detects them either on an x-ray or during an exam. If a cavity gets big enough, you may start experiencing tooth sensitivity or end up with a full-blown toothache.
Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, a general and family dentist in Covina, recommends having regular dental checkup exams. It is the best way to catch problems like cavities at their earliest possible stages. This helps to keep any treatment conservative and allows you to save as much of your natural tooth structure as possible.
Plaque is a sticky white film that forms on your teeth every day. If you don’t get that plaque off your teeth, it can cause big problems. For example, every time you eat sugar or carbohydrates, plaque that was left on your teeth is converted into acid for 20 minutes. This is called an acid attack. Acid attacks slowly eat away at the tooth enamel. If you get enough acid attacks, you will end up with a hole in your tooth or a cavity.
When a cavity starts, your enamel can turn a frosty white color. It may then turn brownish or black, and finally, it gets sticky. A hole forms, and that is tooth decay or a cavity. Left untreated, an area of tooth decay or a cavity will eat its way all the way through the enamel, making its way to the softer part of the tooth under the enamel called the dentin. The dentin of the tooth is about 1000 times softer than the tooth enamel. Once the cavity is into the dentin, it’s just a matter of time before it gets to the tooth’s nerve, causing severe toothache and infection.
As a general dentist, Dr. Cohen has many ways to treat cavities right in his Covina office. First, he will remove the decayed part of the tooth and replace it with a beautiful, strong filling material that looks like your natural tooth.
There are many different types of dental fillings. The material that Dr. Cohen chooses for you will be based on where the decay is in your mouth, how much tooth structure you lost due to the cavity, and how much of your tooth structure is still healthy. He will help you make the best choice for your personal situation.
Fillings have many uses. Some of the ways dental fillings can be used are to:
Before your tooth is filled, Dr. Cohen will make sure that the area he will be working on is completely numb and comfortable. Your comfort is his number one priority! Once you are completely comfortable, Dr. Cohen will remove the damaged part of your tooth with special instruments. He will then disinfect the tooth and get it ready for the new filling. Finally, Dr. Cohen will create a tooth-colored restoration. He will then bond it in place. Bonding the filling directly to the tooth creates a very strong restoration. The tooth will look great, but more importantly, it will be healthy and whole again.
The very best thing that you can do for yourself is to schedule routine checkup exams. This way, if you do have something going on in your mouth, we can catch it early. Taking care of problems early allows you to treat things when they’re small. It’s quicker, easier, and less costly to treat dental problems when they are small.
Don’t allow cavities to go unchecked. Call Dr. Cohen’s office today and schedule your checkup exam appointment. You’ll be amazed at how easy we make it for you to get your smile back!