Dental caries, or tooth cavities, are an unfortunate dental problem especially prevalent among children and adolescents. Tooth decay and dental cavities also affect adults and are most commonly caused by plaque build up. When plaque comes in contact with sugar and starch, it activates bacteria in plaque, causing it to attack and erode tooth enamel. As the tooth enamel breaks down and wears away, it leaves the tooth susceptible to the formation of dental cavities.
Dr. Cappy Sinclair is a family dentist in Virginia Beach, offering a comprehensive preventative and general dentistry program to help prevent and treat tooth decay. Dr. Sinclair uses tooth colored restorations including composite dental fillings and porcelain tooth crowns. If root canal therapy is needed, the treatment can often be completed in our Virginia Beach dental office.
Brushing your teeth at least two times a day is essential to removing plaque from the tooth surfaces and around the gums.
Fluoride is an important mineral that strengthens tooth enamel and helps to protect against tooth decay.
Don't skip the floss! Brushing only removes plaque from the front and back of teeth - flossing remove plaque from between teeth, where cavities often form.
Avoid sugary drinks and soda. Water helps rinse the mouth and wash away plaque and bacteria. Dry mouth accelerates bacteria in the mouth causing bad breath and can lead to cavities and gum disease.
Avoid snacking between meals. Eat plently of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Studies show that chewing sugarless gum with xylitol or sorbitol for jsut 20 minutes a day can reduce cavity formation. Look for the ADA seal on your pack of gum.
The ADA recommends that children and adults visit the dentist at least twice a year for routine exams, dental cleanings and x-rays. These visits can help to intercept problems before they advance to tooth decay and cavities.
Tooth cavity symptoms vary from one person to another. In most cases, there will be no recognizable symptoms in the early stages of tooth cavity formation. A dentist, however is likely to see signs of early tooth decay and can prevent the cavity from forming or getting worse.
As the tooth cavity gets larger, you may experience symptoms such as toothache, tooth sensitivity, pain when eating hot or cold foods and beverages, visible holes in teeth, or pus around the tooth and gums.
If you already have tooth cavities or if your teeth are showing signs of decay, Dr. Sinclair offers a range of dental services to provide stability and protection to affected teeth.
Most treatment for tooth cavities can be completed in a single visit. Composite resin filligns are applied directly to the teeth and cured with a special light. Dr. Siclair uses CAD/CAM technology and can create most porclain inlays, onlays and tooth crowns in his office, while you wait.
Another technology used in our Virginia Beach dental office is the dental microscope. This high powered instruments allows Dr. Sinclair to provide more accurate, comfortable and conservative treatments for tooth decay.
The term “root canal” actually refers to the natural cavity at the center of the tooth. The tooth’s nerve is located inside the root canal, surrounded by soft tissue called pulp. If the tooth is damaged or has decay, bacteria and debris can enter into the root canal area and cause an infection.
In most cases, it is more benefitial to save the natural tooth via root canal therapy than have the tooth extracted. The procedure is relatively simple and typically completed in our Virginia Beach office. When a specialist is needed, Dr. Sinclair will coordinate your treatment plan with an endodontist.
Dr. Sinclair will numb the tooth and then make a small hole to access the tooth chamber. Using special tools, he will remove infected tissue and damage nerves. The tooth is then filled with a compound called gutta percha.
Usually, the tooth is temporarily sealed with a filling while the dental crown is being fabricated. We have CAD/CAM technology in our office, so it may be the case that your dental crown can be made while you wait and placed in the same visit.
For the 2008-2009 school year, the Virginia Department of Health reported that 47% of third graders had at least one tooth cavity*. Despite health initiatives, tooth decay in children continues to rise. One of the best ways to prevent the incidence of caries in children is through routine dental visits.
Visiting the dentist should be in important part of a child's healthcare routine. Dr. Sinclair offers treatment for children starting at age 4. We offer a number of services to help children achieve and maintain optimal oral health:
*National Oral Health Surveillance System, Virginia Oral Health Survey - submitted 10/2010