As with other medical conditions, finding cavities early allows your dentist to treat them as fast and easily as possible. However, cavities often go unchecked as they usually have no visible or physical symptoms in their earliest stages. Fortunately, your Huntsville, AL, dentist has a way to spot cavities before even an x-ray can. Learn about laser cavity screenings with Dr. Timothy Brooks.
What is a laser cavity screening?
Laser cavity screening uses a minimally-invasive laser to scan the teeth for cavities. The safe and effective laser measures the density of your teeth, allowing your doctor to find weaknesses or degradation of the enamel before it becomes visible to the naked eye or, in some cases, on an x-ray. Finding cavities this early allows your dentist to avoid requiring a dental filling since the enamel can simply be restored using fluoride treatments. In some cases, your dentist may suggest sealants, a plastic coating placed onto the teeth, to further protect the teeth from decay.
What are the advantages of catching cavities early?
Tooth decay begins as bacteria on the outside of your tooth. The decay slowly, over time, eats its way into the tooth’s outer enamel, then dentin, then inner pulp chamber. The further the decay moves through the tooth, the more complex the procedure required to repair it. This makes catching cavities early crucial in providing quick and easy treatment.
Cavity Treatment in Huntsville, AL
Some decay at its earliest stages, as detected by the laser cavity screening, requires only fluoride treatments to rebuild the tooth’s enamel. However, larger cavities require a dental filling. This procedure includes your dentist removing part of the infected tooth and replacing it with composite resin materials. Once decay reaches the tooth’s inner pulp chamber, a toothache often occurs. At this stage, the tissue and nerve which lie inside the pulp chamber become infected and must be removed. Your dentist will remove the infected tissues using root canal therapy, then fill the tooth with composite materials. Since the filling is so large, the tooth will probably require a dental crown to protect it from further damage in the future.
For more information on laser cavity screenings, please contact Dr. Brooks, in Huntsville, AL. Call (256) 883-8008 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Brooks today!