Preventing and Filling Tooth Cavities in St. Louis, MO
Ignoring the signs of tooth cavities, or dental caries, can end up as a much bigger pain than scheduling a dental appointment. That’s because a small cavity means a minor general dental treatment, while waiting too long to get a cavity filled can require more invasive solutions such as a root canal or crown—both of which involve more time and possibly more discomfort. The team at West County Dental helps to minimize restorative dental work through preventative dental care. This helps to prevent cavities before they even occur, or to address a tooth cavity early on. We provide dental fillings for patients of all ages in a comfortable, relaxing environment.
How Cavities Occur in Your Teeth
Tooth cavities are a common form of tooth decay; most people will end up needing a cavity removed and replaced by a dental filling at some point in their life. Plaque build-up from insufficient brushing and flossing can lead to a bacterial attack that erodes the tooth enamel and begins forming cavities in the tooth. Often, you won’t notice the symptoms of a cavity until its most advanced stages cause pain. Regular dental exams will catch those cavities before they start to cause discomfort and allow us to remove the decay and install a filling.
Dental Cavity Symptoms
Are you unsure if you have a cavity or not? Symptoms of teeth cavities vary from one person to the next. Sometimes, especially in the early stages of tooth decay, you might not even realize you have a cavity until you come in for a dental visit. This is just one reason it’s important to schedule regular checkups for preventative dental care. However, as the tooth decay gets more severe causing the hole to get bigger, you may experience several symptoms such as:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain when consuming hot or cold foods and drinks
- Visible holes in your teeth
- Pus around the affected tooth and gum area
How We Fix a Tooth Cavity
If our dentist discovers a cavity during one of your regular dental checkups, we’ll be able to quickly treat it and give you a dental filling right here in our office. Because the procedure is simple, we may even be able to do it on the same day as your appointment.
The first step involves preparing you for treatment and ensuring you feel comfortable is application of a local numbing agent or sedation, so you feel relaxed. To remove the cavity, we use a small drill to pull out the decayed and infected parts of the tooth before they continue to eat away at any more of your healthy tooth enamel. Once the area is clean, we insert a natural, tooth-colored filling to replace the cavity and seal it from further infection.
While you may feel numb and then a little sore in that area of your mouth for the rest of the day, you’ll be able to return to work right away and eat foods that feel comfortable to you. If needed, our dental staff will give you any specific instructions beyond regular over-the-counter painkillers if you feel uncomfortable for the next day or so.
Schedule a Dental Checkup Today!
To learn more about our cavity treatment options or to schedule an appointment, contact the West County Dental office in St. Louis today!