Avoiding Invasive Procedures

Rochester family dentists, Dr. Calcagno is passionate about early detection of oral health issues so that treatment will consist of the most conservative, minimally-invasive procedures possible. If tooth decay is caught early enough, Dr. Calcagno may even be able to reverse it, and that’s why it is important to keep your six-month checkup appointments. Delaying treatment for even a few months may allow decay to advance to a point that requires more extensive treatment.

Causes of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, also known as a cavity, is damage to the tooth enamel caused by acids in the mouth. When your saliva and oral bacteria mix with the sugars and starches you eat, corrosive acids form which wear away your tooth enamel. Eroded tooth enamel leaves the softer underlying layers of the tooth vulnerable to damage as well. When a cavity extends beyond the enamel into the dentin and nerve-rich tooth pulp, you will experience pain and possibly infection. For this reason, it is vital that decay be caught in the earliest stages when it only affects the outer surfaces of the teeth.

Cavity Detection with DIAGNOdent and the Soprolife Camera

Dr. Calcagno will inspect your teeth for decay in several ways, starting with a visual examination and using an intraoral camera to view hard-to-reach areas. She will also gently probe your teeth with a dental instrument to check for hardness. Digital X-rays may also be performed to help spot areas of decay. However, their secret weapon in detecting cavities at the very earliest stages is DIAGNOdent, a diode laser-based fluorescence detector that can find tooth decay other detection methods can miss.

Cavity Treatments in Rochester

When your cavity is caught in its earliest stages with DIAGNOdent, Dr. Calcagno can often reverse the decay and strengthen the tooth enamel with a professional fluoride treatment. In some cases, a restoration is needed, in which case Dr. Calcagno will place a tooth-colored composite resin filling. After precisely removing the decayed portion of your tooth, your Rochester dentist will place a bonded filling into the prepared space and then harden it using a special light. Bonded fillings actually help strengthen and support the tooth structure unlike metal fillings that often cause tooth breakage over time. Your new restoration will ensure both a healthy mouth, and a natural appearance.

The Best Cavity Treatment is Prevention

While we offer a number of conservative treatments for cavities, prevention is still the best treatment. To schedule a dental examination, call Calcagno Cosmetic and Family Dentistry today at (507) 281-3659. Conveniently located in Rochester, MN, our office also welcomes patients who live in Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, Austin, and all surrounding communities.

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