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Dentistry Memphis

Cavity Treatments to Restore Tooth Strength

Illustrated tooth with a question mark on itWhen it comes to the preservation of oral health, general dentistry services such as dental exams and cleanings are of vital importance. Still, even with professional dental care, patients shouldn’t expect their smiles to be perfect. It is completely normal for some oral health problems to develop, and Dr. Timothy Messer and his dental staff promise to offer effective restorative care whenever these complications are found. One of the most common oral health problems is dental cavities. Although minor when they first develop, untreated dental cavities can cause significant damage, so early treatment is key to restoring the strength and health of the affected tooth. Dr. Messer offers treatment for cavities at his Memphis practice. These treatments allow him to rebuild tooth structure and protect tooth health.

What Is a Cavity?

A dental cavity is a term that is used to describe minor cases of decay that have caused holes to form in the outer layer of the tooth, or the enamel. These small holes are not visible to the naked eye and very rarely cause any severe side effects. However, what these holes do is weaken the tooth and leave a pathway that enables bacteria to reach the center of the tooth. If bacteria enter the pulp of the tooth, an infection is likely to develop. Cavity treatments restore damaged tooth enamel and also block out harmful bacteria in order to preserve the health of the inner tooth. This is why early treatment is so important.

Treatment Options

There are several treatment options for dental cavities. Each of these treatments cleanses the tooth of bacteria, plaque, and tartar, replaces damaged tooth enamel, and seals off the tooth to protect it from more severe decay. While the goal of each of these treatments is the same, they do differ slightly. It is important to evaluate the severity of tooth decay in order to determine which treatment is most appropriate. Below are cavity treatment options that may be considered:

  • Metal fillings: Metal fillings are fabricated using a mixture of silver, mercury, copper, and other metals. Metal fillings can repair minor to moderate cavities, but they are rarely used at our practice because of their noticeable silver color. Another downside of metal fillings is that they expand and contract when exposed to extreme temperatures, so they may cause damage to the natural teeth.
  • Tooth-colored fillings: In most dental practices, tooth-colored fillings have become the standard cavity treatment. These fillings use a composite material that is matched to the patient’s natural tooth color. The composite material is used to fill in cavities and seal off the tooth. Tooth-colored fillings are extremely durable, do not respond to temperature changes, and are much more attractive than metal fillings. For these reasons and more, they are the treatment option most preferred by Dr. Messer.
  • Inlays and onlays: Inlays and onlays are indirect restorations. They are similar to a crown in that they are cemented onto the surface of the tooth. However, unlike crowns, they only cover a portion of the tooth surface. Dr. Messer will consider inlays and onlays for the treatment of larger cavities that cannot be adequately treated with a dental filling.

Contact Us

A dental cavity does not have to compromise the health of your smile. Dr. Timothy Messer offers an array of restorative dentistry treatments to repair all types of tooth decay. Contact us to learn more about the cavity treatment options offered at our dental practice. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tagged In: General Dentistry, Tooth Decay, Restorative Dentistry

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I have been to several dentists in the Memphis Area and I have finally found THE ONE!! Dr. Messer is the best dentist I have ever been to. I have complete confidence in any procedure that he performs and I can't imagine ever going to any other dentist.

-Meredith Page B.
Memphis, TN

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