A cavity is a type of tooth decay that forms a hole in your tooth and is usually painless in the beginning. However, if left untreated, it gradually develops into a big cavity that causes tooth pain, sensitivity, staining, and visible holes in your teeth.
What causes tooth cavities
One of the major causes of tooth cavity is plaque, which is a sticky build-up of substances on your teeth. Plaque forms when tooth particles combine with acid, bacteria, and saliva to form a sticky build-up on your teeth. The layer of plaque slowly erodes the enamel, weakening it, and leading to tooth decay.
Although anyone that does not practice proper dental hygiene can develop a large cavity in their teeth, the following people are at a higher risk of developing teeth cavities:
- People that take acidic foods, sugary foods, and sugary drinks frequently
- A person that does not follow a proper dental hygiene routine e.g. flossing or brushing daily
- People with acid reflux disease because the acid from the stomach eventually wears down the enamel
- People struggling with eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia
Cavities tend to develop at the back of the teeth because these teeth are more difficult to reach when flossing and brushing. Also, the back teeth have openings and grooves which trap tooth particles that eventually cause decay due to poor dental hygiene.
How to treat a large cavity
One of the most important things you need to know about tooth cavities is that there are no home remedies. If you have any cavities in your teeth, you need to visit a dentist as soon as possible. The size of a cavity determines its treatment options. Small minor cavities are easy to treat with dental fillings. On the other hand, a big cavity requires a more complex form of treatment in order to ensure that the tooth’s structure is restored.
If the dentist finds a cavity too large to fill, they may recommend the following forms of treatment:
Root canal therapy
When a person has a tooth cavity too large to fill, especially inside the root of the tooth, root canal therapy is usually a great form of treatment. Although it sounds painful, root canal therapy is painless, and it can help to save your tooth instead of having it completely removed because of decay.
This type of treatment is used when decay in the root canal causes an infection in the center part of the tooth. Leaky fillings and tooth damage as a result of trauma can also cause an infection in the root canal. When an infection takes place in the root canal, the pulp becomes inflamed because of the bacteria. As a result, you may feel pain when chewing, biting, drinking, or eating. In severe cases, the infection may cause you to lose your tooth if left untreated.
How root canal therapy takes place
At the beginning of the procedure, the dentist will give you a local anesthetic to ensure that you do not feel any pain or unpleasantness during the procedure. The dentist then makes a tiny hole in the tooth’s surface in order to access the tooth canal and remove the dead pulp tissues infected by the bacteria.
Once all the diseased tissue is removed from the tooth canal, the dentist will clean, shape, and decontaminate the access hole using an irrigation solution and a tiny file. The dentist will then fill the tooth with a material that resembles rubber using a cement adhesive to seal the root canal.
Since root canal therapy involves removing most of the infected pulp tissue from the root of the tooth, the tooth will be more fragile and brittle than ever before. To protect the tooth, the dentist will add either filling or a crown to the tooth.
Dental crown treatment
Another treatment option for a tooth cavity too large to fill is the installation of a dental crown. Dental crown treatment helps to protect a damaged tooth with a big cavity by placing a cap over the tooth to cover and restore its shape. Dental crowns are an excellent treatment option for a big cavity because they are easy to maintain by practicing regular oral hygiene.
When a large cavity causes a tooth to decay extensively and lose its shape and size, the dentist cements a dental crown to the tooth to help restore its size, shape, appearance, and strength.
How dental crown treatment takes place
It will take you at least two visits to the doctor for the placement of dental crowns as a treatment for a tooth cavity that is too large to fill. On the first visit, the dentist will x-ray the tooth with a large cavity to examine and prepare the tooth for the procedure. The dentist will file down the decayed tooth on its sides and its top to create enough space for the crown.
After the dentist completes reshaping the tooth, they will use a paste to make an impression of the filed tooth as well as impressions of the surrounding teeth. The impressions will ensure that the dentist creates a crown that will not affect your bite. After creating the impressions, the dentist will send them to a dental lab and wait for about two or three weeks before the permanent crown arrives for your tooth.
In the meantime, the dentist will prepare a temporary crown for your tooth.
During the second visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and fit you with the new permanent crown to restore your confidence.
Book a consultation today
If you experience frequent toothaches, tooth sensitivity, pain when you bite food, sharp pains when you drink or eat something cold, and have one or more visible pits in your back teeth, then you are likely dealing with tooth cavities.
Get in touch with us today to book a dental consultation. If you have a tooth cavity too large to fill, our world-class dentists will recommend the best dental treatment. Call us now to schedule a consultation.