Cavities, also known as dental caries, are one of the most common oral health problems, affecting people of all ages. While cavities are preventable through proper dental hygiene and regular dental checkups, they can still occur due to various factors, such as poor oral hygiene, a diet high in sugary foods and drinks, and genetic predisposition.
At Dental Arts Group, we are committed to helping our patients maintain optimal oral health by providing effective and personalized cavity repair treatments that restore their teeth to their natural form and function. Read below to learn more about our cavity repair solutions in Philadelphia, PA!
Teeth will always be vulnerable to decay. Luckily, white resin fillings have been used by dentists for decades to allow for the minimally invasive treatment of decay. Dental Arts Group utilizes these conservative restorations to stop the decay process before the disease reaches the painful nerve in the tooth, or severe decay causes tooth fracture or even tooth loss.
Unlike previous silver fillings used in dentistry, white composite resin fillings are smaller and look and feel like natural teeth. The process of attaching white fillings to teeth is called dental bonding and serves to provide strength to a compromised tooth. This is a huge advantage of white fillings when compared to older silver fillings which lead to increased fracture risks due to increased stress on the surrounding tooth structure.
Our dentists are trained in the placement of white fillings utilizing minimalist techniques to provide long-term solutions to dental decay.
Digital Ceramic Crowns
Some teeth are not strong enough to function on their own without complete protection. A crown is a dental solution that provides tooth security by covering the tooth with a custom protective material such as zirconium or glass (lithium disilicate).
- Crowns are designed to fit in perfect harmony with surrounding natural teeth.
- Crowns look, feel, and function as if they were natural teeth.
- Most importantly crowns allow for teeth to be used for many years and prevent unwanted tooth fractures that could lead to tooth loss.
- Crowns save teeth!
There are several scenarios that benefit from crown therapy such as teeth with root canals, large cracking fillings, and teeth with large missing segments or cavities.
- After a root canal, it is extremely important that teeth are crowned as soon as possible. The intention of the root canal is to remove the nerve of the tooth due to pain or infection. However, this procedure also removes the blood supply to the tooth making the tooth VERY brittle and extremely prone to fracture. To avoid a recently root-canaled tooth from breaking, a crown is necessary to protect the tooth. A broken tooth may require removal (extraction) and replacement with a dental implant.
- Large silver (or white) fillings often create cracks, stress fractures, and craze lines on the surrounding natural tooth. This is due to the large filling undermining the surrounding natural tooth walls. For very large older silver fillings, the analogy is akin to concrete poured into an eggshell—fracture is inevitable. However, if a crown is fitted over indicated teeth BEFORE fracture, our dentists are able to prevent the consequences of fractured teeth, avoiding the need for much more involved procedures such as root canal, extraction, or dental implant. The DAG Comprehensive Exam includes a complete assessment of all previous existing restorations to ensure teeth are stable and not showing signs of fracture or new undermining decay causing the tooth to be prone to fracture.
- Some teeth suffer from large undetected cavities or a previous break/fracture. These teeth may require additional procedures such as root canal or crown lengthening surgery to save, but are perfect candidates for a crown. A crown will enable the tooth in this scenario to be saved. Consistent and early DAG Comprehensive Examinations can prevent the need for additional procedures as cavities are detected early and fracture risk is assessed ideally prior to the tooth breaking.
Some older silver fillings require removal and replacement. Silver fillings may need to be replaced for a myriad of reasons including cracking of the silver filling, fracture of the surrounding tooth, new cavity under the filling, leaking restoration creating a high risk for future fracture, unsightly silver fillings resembling dark or black teeth, and other reasons.
Silver fillings are made from an amalgamation of elemental materials such as mercury. These fillings have been proven to be safe in use, but when they begin to fail, safe removal is required. Dental Arts Group dentists are trained in the safe removal of silver fillings when indicated. This safe removal will require placing a tarp over the tooth to ensure all mercury particles are vacuumed utilizing high sped evacuation techniques. The replacement for silver fillings is typically a crown or composite resin white fillings depending on the size of the restoration and other confounding variables.
Root canals have a bad reputation! However, when tooth pain or infection suddenly happens, root canal therapy is a fantastic way to relieve pain, stop infection, and save teeth. Root canal therapy saves the tooth with a technique-sensitive procedure that removes painful or infected nerves without tooth loss.
Root canal therapy usually takes place over the course of a single visit and modern local anesthesia (novocaine) allows for a very comfortable procedure. After root canal therapy, the tooth will require a crown or a filling, or both, to stabilize the tooth and prevent fracture.
If you’re in need of restorative care, Dental Arts Group is prepared to repair! We pride ourselves on helping each patient feel comfortable in the dental chair and saving their smile from the damage of severe decay or infection. Contact us if you have any questions about our cavity repair services or schedule an appointment to get started!