Posts for tag: cavities
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!
About 92% of people will experience a cavity at some point in their lifetime. Dental fillings, the treatment for cavities, is the most common dental procedure performed. Many cavities are hard to spot in their early stages and can be overlooked during a dental examination. However, DIAGNOdent laser cavity screening makes finding cavities in their early stages easier. Find out more about DIAGNOdent with Dr. W. Timothy Brooks in Huntsville, AL.
How does DIAGNOdent work?
At their earliest stages, dental caries, which eventually turn into cavities, are virtually undetectable with the naked eye. These tiny spots of tooth decay tend to hide within the tooth, turning a clean bill of dental health at one appointment into a full-blown cavity at the next check-up. DIAGNOdent uses a laser set to a certain frequency to detect small caries in the teeth. A handheld pen directed at the tooth takes a reading and allows your dentist to discover tiny caries which the eye cannot necessarily see on its own.
How can DIAGNOdent benefit me?
DIAGNOdent is about 90% accurate in detecting the early stages of tooth decay. Dental caries detected in these early stages allow for the most conservative treatment possible, keeping more of your natural tooth’s structure intact than if the cavity were allowed to grow until your next dental examination. This can also save time, as a smaller filling means a shorter procedure. Finally, detecting tooth decay early prevents an inevitable toothache which occurs when the decay reaches the inner pulp chamber of the tooth.
DIAGNOdent in Huntsville, AL
A DIAGNOdent screening lasts only a few minutes and allows your dentist to scan your entire mouth for decay. This painless procedure begins with Dr. Brooks directing a laser inside of the handheld pen at each tooth. The device gives off a reading and makes a noise when it detects decay on the tooth and that reading goes into a certain high range. This allows Dr. Brooks to pinpoint the decay and remove it before it becomes a more complex and painful condition.
For more information on DIAGNOdent laser cavity screenings, please contact Dr. Brooks in Huntsville, AL. Call (256) 883-8008 to schedule your appointment for a dental examination and cleaning today!