Dentist doing a dental treatment on female patient

 

Dental cavities remain the leading issue seen in dental clinics worldwide and in patients of all ages. Unfortunately, most people nowadays take a casual approach to the management of dental caries since they assume the condition is not as dangerous as once thought. Moreover, there have been various online articles on the treatment of dental caries. Hence, it is easy to assume that handling the condition can be done using OTC medications and appliances and home remedies.

A reliable dentist based in Longmont, Colorado is nonetheless your only assurance for the efficient treatment of cavities. This is because the DIY measures will only mask the discomfort associated with dental cavities but do little for the treatment of the underlying cavity. Professional cavity treatment starts with an accurate diagnosis of the condition. This is because there are various dental diagnoses including pulpitis, cracked tooth syndrome, and sensitivity which might mirror the same symptoms as dental cavities. The following are the diagnostic procedures used for dental cavities.

Digital Imaging

In the past, X-rays were the primary method of diagnosing dental cavities, but this option had a few limitations. Digital imaging is currently the imaging technique of choice for cavities. The image’s magnification, brightness, and contrast can be adjusted unlike in traditional radiographs, and the image can be transferred electronically to other medics or stored in a soft copy. Digital imaging however only picks dental cavities with less than 40% demineralization of your tooth and will not pick deep-seated cavities.

Fiber Optic Transillumination

Naturally, the light transmission index of a sound and decayed tooth will differ since compact enamel has hydroxyapatite crystals which are tightly packed. In fiber-optic transillumination, light photons will be scattered in your tooth and result in an optical disruption. Teeth with dental cavities will have dark shadows owing to their low light transmission index. Fiber optic transillumination is generally used to evaluate whether the cavities have reached your dentin or not and pick proximal cavities.

Microabrasion

This technique allows the dentist to examine the darkened areas at the bottom of pits and fissures in your teeth. Microabrasion technology will deliver alumina particles to any suspicious darkened area. This will clean the darkened area to reveal the decayed tooth underneath. While microabrasion is often used for diagnosing cavities, it can also be used for the removal of the decayed portion of your tooth to leave the healthy underlying tooth.

Ultrasonic Diagnostic Tools

Close up of man at the dentist

This technique uses an ultrasound caries detector. The detector will pick the differences in ultrasonic pulse durations between demineralized and sound dental structures. Ultrasonic diagnostic tools are considered an ideal choice for picking early dental cavities when the lesion is confined to the dental enamel. This is because very deep lesions will only generate high amplitude echoes.

The above diagnostic techniques for dental caries do not replace the visual inspection of a dentist to ascertain the cause of pain in your oral cavity. They only serve to confirm his/her diagnosis. This way, the dentist will tailor your treatment to the depth of your cavity. The available treatment alternatives for cavities include fillings, root canals, crowns, and fluoride treatments. Tooth extraction is the choice treatment for deep cavities.