A Look at the 3 Most Common Types of Cavities

Got a cavity? If so, you are definitely not alone. This is one of the biggest reasons people have to visit a dentist for treatment outside of typical dental hygiene visits and checkups. While a cavity may be easy to recognize, you may not know that there are actually three major types of cavities. Each type can have bearing on how the dental filling treatment in Woodbury proceeds.

Smooth-Surface Cavities

Smooth-surface cavities develop on the enameled surface of a tooth, usually on a flat area. These cavities do develop relatively slowly, but they also need to be treated promptly to preserve the integrity of the tooth and prevent further deterioration. A smooth-surface cavity is considered to be the earliest stage of decay, so a standard filling and possibly even demineralization treatments may be recommended to help eradicate the problem.

Pit and Fissure Cavities

Pit and fissure cavities show up in the pits and crevices that are a natural part of the tooth. For example, if you look at one of the larger molars in your jaw, the tooth will have a deep ridge that runs through the center. A pit or fissure cavity is seated right along the low points in your tooth, which means it can be more likely to lead to extensive decay. These cavities may or may not reach into the dentin of the tooth, so getting a filling as soon as possible is important.

Root Cavities

Root cavities are some of the most severe types of cavities. These points of decay are more common among older adults but can happen to a younger person who develops a cavity and never has that cavity properly treated. Root cavities may require n extraction, but they may also be treated via a root canal if the dentist feels the tooth is salvageable in spite of the internal damage.

Need a Cavity Filled by a Woodbury Dentist?

Even the smallest cavity can mean a tooth is at risk of greater decay. Therefore, it is important that you speak with a Woodbury dentist for treatment right away for treatment. If you need an appointment, reach out to us at Woodlane Family and Cosmetic Dentistry.

Dental Sealants Help Prevent Cavities

Although following a daily regimen of brushing and flossing is one of the best ways to prevent the development of cavities, reaching the back teeth (molars) can be challenging. The inability to properly clean these teeth often leads to decay, cavities and costly dental procedures. While trying to clean these teeth may seem like a never-ending battle, another safety net is now available to help keep your child’s molars clean and cavity-free, the dental sealant.

Why Are Molars Susceptible to Decay?

To aid in the chewing process, molars have rough, uneven surfaces. Furthermore, there are nooks and crannies on the chewing surface of each molar, which makes cleaning them even more difficult, especially for children. Cavity-causing bacteria hide within these crevices, consuming the leftover debris, multiplying and releasing harmful acid that eats away at the protective coating of the teeth (enamel).

What Are Dental Sealants?

A dental sealant consists of plastic or some other dental material. The sealant is applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars. This sealant is not meant to replace a daily oral hygiene regimen, but, instead, to supplement it. Dental sealants can help prevent cavities by ‘filling-in’ those nooks and crannies where food debris remains, and bacteria hide.

How Does a Dental Sealant Work?

Once the dental sealant is applied, it penetrates the tooth enamel: This ensures that the sealant is firmly attached to the tooth. The grooves of the tooth fill in and the sealant hardens, creating a thin, plastic barrier.

When Should Dental Sealants Be Applied?

Ideally, dental sealants should be applied as soon as the chewing surface of the molar has completely erupted beyond the gum line. When the molars are sealed as they erupt, the likelihood of decay and cavity development is greatly reduced. Typically, the wisdom teeth do not erupt until an individual is at least 17 years of age. Since the wisdom teeth are usually removed, sealing them is not particularly beneficial to the patient.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

The application of dental sealants is quick and painless. Prior to applying the sealant, your child’s Woodlane Family Dentist cleans and dries the tooth/teeth being sealed. An acidic gel is placed on the tooth/teeth, which roughens up the surface of the tooth to ensure a strong bond between the tooth and the sealant. Once a couple of seconds have passed, your child’s Woodlane Family Dentist rinses off the gel, dries the tooth/teeth again and ‘paints’ the sealant onto the chewing surfaces of the molars being treated. A special blue light is used to harden the sealant. These sealants usually last for several years.

Will Dental Insurance Cover Sealants?

Most dental insurance companies do cover dental sealants for both primary and permanent teeth. We recommend that you contact your insurance provider to find out if your child is covered.