Why Drilling is Necessary
Many of us fear to visit the dentist because of the pain and sound of a dentist’s drill. A dental drill is one of many tools that dentists use to do their job. When you visit a dentist for a dental filling, the treatment plan will include numbing the gums first to minimize pain. Then a drill is used to remove the cavity before filling the tooth.
To understand why drilling is necessary, we have to understand how cavities are typically formed. Cavities are caused by tooth decay and neglecting good dental hygiene. Tooth decay does not happen overnight but over time when bacteria on the teeth breakdown the protective enamel surface. Tooth decay can also originate inside the inner layers of a tooth. A fractured tooth allows food substance and sugar to build-up, eventually leading to tooth decay.
The areas of the tooth that has decayed are soft where it was once hard and healthy. The decayed area needs to be removed; otherwise overtime the affected area can enlarge requiring a tooth extraction. A dentist cannot just fill the decayed tooth without removing the decay. To appropriately fill a decayed tooth, the dentist must remove the decay and soft parts of the tooth weakened by decay until only hard tooth structure is left. Once completed, the tooth can be filled.
In situations where a decay lies deep under a tooth, the healthy portions of the tooth may need to be drilled. Drilling allows the dentist to access the decayed area for treatment. Also, when a tiny cavity is found on the surface, the dentist may remove the cavity by drilling. Removing some healthy areas of the tooth gives the dentist more room to treat the decay effectively.
The Future of the Dental Drill
Advancement in dentistry is reshaping the future of the dental drill. Modern methods such as air abrasion and lasers are alternative methods for “drilling out” cavities. Air abrasion uses aluminum oxide particles to breakdown the tooth decay. On the other hand, lasers use high energy electromagnetic radiation to remove cavities. Patients benefit from these no drill methods because they usually feel no pain, reduces the risk of cracking or breaking a tooth, no noise, or vibration. However, these modern methods can be more expensive than the traditional dental drill.
If you are ready to schedule a dental filling, be sure to contact California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161 to make your appointment.