At least once in a lifetime everybody had to go to the dentist’s to treat cavities. One of the main clue of the caries formation is the lack of oral hygiene as the caries formation process, which destroys the tooth hard tissue, is caused by the action of some bacteria of the oral cavity found in the plaque and in the tartar: the perfect habitat for proliferation.
These bacteria feed on carbohydrates releasing acid which corrodes the dental enamel which becomes porous and leads the untreated caries to deepen first towards the dentine and then to the dental pulp.
Therefore, tooth decay isn’t more than the tooth acid corrosion due to the result of the streptococcus mutans secretion which can be found in the form of the plaque and the tartar adhering to the tooth (these bacteria eats the sugars secreting then acids).
In its first stage the cavity is asymptomatic and it shows as a small darker spot at the enamel layer.
If it is located on the occlusal surface of the tooth it can be clinically highlighted by an explorer meanwhile if it is located between two teeth it can be highlighted by an intrabuccal x-ray where there can be found a dark spot if the caries has already at least destroyed a quarter of the dental mass.
The more this caries advances to the pulp a stronger pain arises to the teeth. It is recognizable by a dark “hole” within soggy material. It is important to remind that the caries has a pyramidal shape and what we see it’s only the tip which means that that small dark spot on the tooth can hide a very wide caries.
When the caries reaches the pulp causing pain the tooth must be devitalized.
How much does it cost to treat tooth decay?
The dental caries treatment fee is variable and the evolution stage of the disease affects the final amount. The devitalization, for example, is a much more expensive procedure than the filling. The number of the teeth involved in the carious process can also contribute to increase the fee, it can actually occur that some patients can show more than one carious dental element even at different stages of evolution.
Just for a general idea of the amount of the cost, in our dental office the fee for a basic filling is from about 80 € up to 250 € depending on the complexity of the cases. The complexity of the filling depends on how many parts of the tooth are involved in the carious process. There can be diagnosed I class simple cavities where only the occlusal surface is involved, II class cavities where the interdental surface is also involved, the mesiocclusion distal cavities (MOD) where at least three parts of the tooth are involved, V class cavities which involve the dental neck (in these cases it is much more complex to add the rubber dam) and the III and IV class cavities which involve the incisors and the canines for what concerns the aesthetical zone.
How much does it cost to treat cavities?
|Types of caries/Cavities||RECONSTRUCTION FEES|
|Caries affecting only the occlusal surface (I class cavity)||80 – 120€|
|Caries affecting one of the interdental surface ( II class cavity)||100 – 200€|
|Caries affecting both the interdental and occlusal surface (MOD cavity)||150 – 300€|
|Caries located in aesthetical zone involving one of the interdental surface (III class cavity)||120 – 200€|
|Caries located in aesthetical zone also involving the incisal tooth surface (IV class cavity)||150 – 300€|
|Teeth neck caries ( V class cavity)||100 – 150€|
Average cost in Italian dental practices.
How to treat caries
As already said, treating caries can vary according to the pathology stage. For the easiest cases the dentist proceeds with a filling after cleaning the tooth removing the infected dentine, which means that the cavity caused by this procedure is filled by some composite material. If the caries has extended to the pulp it is necessary to devitalize the tooth and in some cases to protect it with a dental crown.
In both case a rubber dam must be used, that is a rubber sheet that isolates the tooth avoiding contamination caused by salivary liquids and especially the patient’s breath.
Can cavities be prevented?
Caries can be prevented by using fluorine within a procedure since the childhood or even before. Taking fluorine in pregnancy and giving it to the child until age seven, can determine such a mineralization able to preserve the teeth from the bacteria causing caries.
Once chosen this option It is important to avoid home remedies preferring to seek help from the dentist as an overdose of fluorine can provoke spots on the teeth then hard to remove.
Who hasn’t taken fluorine is condemned to tooth decay?
Absolutely not. Caries can be prevented also with a correct domestic oral hygiene, with the professional oral cleanliness and with healthy nutrition. The rules are always the same, washing teeth regularly and carefully after every meal, using the interdental floss and the water flosser, always remember to check up your dental health and to periodically undergo to professional oral cleanliness sessions.