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Types of Cavities

Cavities, also called tooth decay or caries, are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into holes and openings, which gradually become bigger and deeper into the inner structure - pulp, if they are left untreated.  There are three types of cavities:

  • Pit and fissure cavities develop on the chewing surface of teeth. They are usually found on the rear molars. 

  • Root cavities form on the root surfaces of teeth. They are more common in seniors with gum disorders

  • Smooth surface cavities occur on the flat, smooth surfaces of teeth. They are slow-growing.

Stages of Cavities & Treatments

  • Dental fillings: Tooth decay has developed into a cavity. Decayed tissued need to be removed and replaced with a filling.  

  • Dental crowns: If tooth decay has progressed to the point that causing a big amount of tooth structure damage, a dental crown will be needed to protect the tooth from fracture. 

  • Root canal treatment: If tooth decay spreads to the pulp, root canal treatment is needed to remove all the infected pulp and nerve in the root, clean and shape the inside of the root canal, then fill and seal the space.  Afterward, a dental crown will be placed to protect your tooth and restore its function

  • Tooth extraction: If the tooth damage is beyond repair, the affected tooth may need to be removed completely.

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