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.
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.
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!