Top Treatments for Your Cavities

Top Treatments for Your Cavities

by drrapisarda
Dealing with cavities can bring anxiety and discomfort, especially for those who are already averse to seeing the dentist. However, your experience can be greatly improved with the right dentist who employs use of the latest technology and treatment.

For many years, the standard treatment for cavities involved drilling holes into teeth and filling them with amalgam metal (or “silver” fillings). Now, the use of a drill is becoming obsolete, as is the conspicuous use of metal fillings. Here are a few ways that cavity detection and treatment can help you make the most of a dental visit.

Cavity Detection

One of the best ways to combat tooth decay is to catch it in its earliest stages. When cavities are just beginning to form, a patient may be totally unaware of their presence. It is therefore vital to have regular dental cleanings that occasionally utilize X-ray images to view any internal decay.

  • Digitial X-ray detection: Some patients have expressed concern over the use of X-rays for the small amounts of radiation they emit. Anyone who’s worn the lead vest during while X-rays are taken may admit the thought has crossed their minds. However, the advent of digital X-rays has greatly reduced radiation exposure by as much as 90 percent. A tiny camera is positioned directly in the patient’s mouth, which uploads digital pictures to the dentist’s laptop. Not only is radiation focused and limited, but the dentist can also position the camera more easily and gain better insight into potential problems.
  • DIAGNOdent® laser detection: When X-ray detection doesn’t provide clear images of the center of a tooth, laser detection may be another viable option. DIAGNOdent® sends a painless laser through the tooth, emitting a signal when it detects any perceptible decay. Because this method does not use any X-rays, it carries no risks when used in conjunction with traditional detection methods.

WaterLase®

The dental drill has long been a staple of cavity treatment, and is perhaps the most daunting part of the process. New technological innovations are beginning to replace the drill with more efficient, effective, and comfortable methods of penetrating hard enamel. WaterLase® allows dentists to carve out area of decay precisely, using a combination of laser and water pulse technology. Some advantages of the WaterLase® tool includes:

  • Less damage to teeth: Traditional drills use pressure and friction to bore into a tooth, creating tiny cracks and heat damage to the surrounding area. The water and air pulse of WaterLase® cuts through teeth at a high-frequency, leaving no heat or sustained pressure.
  • Precise cutting: The WaterLase® laser cuts consistently and precisely, leaving no guesswork for the operating dentist. Decay is removed without further loss of healthy tooth tissue.
  • Less pain: Without the vibration and pressure of a conventional drill, pain is drastically reduced during the procedure.

Porcelain and Resin Dental Fillings

When it comes time to fill a cavity, there are multiple benefits behind tooth-colored fillings. First and foremost, porcelain and resin (also called “composite”) fillings are virtually unnoticeable, leaving your teeth with a natural appearance.

These fillings also bond to a tooth’s tissues, strengthening the tooth and requiring less drilling for proper adherence. Additionally, porcelain and resin are used for dental crowns, bridges, and bonding, allowing any area of a damaged tooth to be replaced while preserving your smile.  To learn more about the benefits of tooth-colored fillings, call our office for an initial, informative consultation.

Contact Our Office Today

Detecting and treating cavities does not need to be a cumbersome ordeal. With procedures that best preserve your health and comfort, cavity treatment can be a virtually painless process. Cosmetic dentist Robert Rapisarda welcomes your questions and looks forward to helping you address all your dental needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment; we’d love to hear from you!

Preventing and Treating Tooth Enamel Erosion

Preventing and Treating Tooth Enamel Erosion

by drrapisarda
Our teeth go through a lot of wear and tear over the years. Even though enamel is the hardest tissue in the body, it can still get worn down over time. Many factors contribute to this wear and tear; but luckily, most of them are preventable with a little foresight. As a matter of good hygiene and dental health, Boston cosmetic dentist Robert Rapisarda urges patients to understand the causes and dangers of tooth erosion.

The Cause of Tooth Erosion

The primary factors behind erosion can be found in the foods we eat. The single largest contributor to enamel loss is acid – acidic foods are found everywhere, and many of them come in contact with our teeth on a daily basis.

An Apple-a-Day?

Fruit is a great source of vitamins and nutrients, which can make some doctors happy, but it’s not always the best for our teeth. In fact, an apple has a low pH level, making it a likely candidate for acidic erosion. The same is true for other fruits, such as grapefruit or strawberries. This is not to say you should not abstain from these otherwise healthy foods. However, these facts should underscore the need to take care of your teeth and counteract erosion before it leads to tooth decay. After consuming highly acidic foods, rinse the mouth with water to reduce the level of acidity.

Other Sources

Additional causes of tooth erosion include acid reflux, teeth grinding, brushing too hard, vomiting, dry mouth, and even supplements like vitamin C pills. If your teeth are beginning to get eroded, there are a few telling signs you can recognize.

Signs of Tooth Erosion

The first sign of erosion that someone is likely to notice is increased tooth sensitivity, especially when eating food that is particularly hot, cold, or sweet. This sensitivity will rarely go away on its own, and will likely worsen as the erosion continues. When a tooth is sensitive, that means the softer dentin underneath are exposed – a bad sign if you want your teeth strong and healthy.

A tooth suffering from erosion may also feel rough or rigid, as a result of the enamel being damaged. Cracks and chips are also more likely, adding to a rigid surface. As the tooth’s white exterior becomes worn away, it may also appear more yellow.

Of course, the best way to spot erosion is by visiting a dentist. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Rapisarda to check on the health of your teeth and learn how you can counteract erosion.

Treatment

The optimal dental treatment is to avert tooth enamel erosion before it even starts. Preventative measures include:

  • Cutting down on acidic food and drinks
  • Brushing diligently, but not aggressively
  • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Using a fluoride toothpaste or mouth wash
  • Using a straw for acidic drinks
  • Limit any causes of acid reflux or vomiting

Still, there is only so much you can do within the confines of your lifestyle. To better protect your teeth from erosion and even counter its effects, Dr. Rapisarda offers ways to strengthen and restore your teeth.

Tooth bonding is a way of resurfacing a patient’s teeth with plastic or resin, offsetting the effects of enamel loss. This is a valuable option for teeth that have been chipped or yellowed over time.

Dental crowns are an effective solution to major tooth erosion. By placing a porcelain cap over an eroded tooth, crowns can return health and beauty to a patient’s smile while protecting against further damage.

Contact Us!

No matter how protective you are of your teeth, regular dental visits will help ensure they are not permanently damaged by eroded enamel. Dr. Rapisarda utilizes the latest technology while keeping patients’ comfort at the forefront of his practice. Schedule an appointment today to see how we can help your smile last indefinitely.

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