June 26, 2017

Cavities and You | A One on One with Damon R. Johnson, DDS

Damon R. Johnson, DDS Dental Excellence is a leading provider of general and cosmetic dental services in the Edmond, Oklahoma, area. Today, we speak with founder and namesake Damon R. Johnson, DDS.

Q: Dr. Johnson, we are so pleased you could be here today.

Edmond Dentist Damon R. Johnson, DDS: It’s my pleasure, any time.

Q: We want to talk about what is seemingly the most common dental issue out there – cavities.

Edmond, OK, Dentist Damon R. Johnson: If it’s not the most, it certainly ranks up there.

Q: What are cavities?

Edmond Dentist Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Simply stated, cavities are tooth decay.

Q: Cavities affect the enamel of the teeth, correct?

Edmond, OK, Dentist Damon R. Johnson: Yes, along with the soft tissue underneath, dentin.

Q: What causes tooth decay?

Edmond Dentist Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth eroding enamel. When the enamel dissolves, it leaves tiny little holes. These holes are what we call cavities.

Q: Who gets cavities?

Edmond, OK, Dentist Damon R. Johnson: While cavities are considered a common problem for children, adults get them too. This is especially true of adults who don’t engage in proper dental hygiene practices.

Q: What is the most prevalent cause of cavities in senior adults?

Edmond Dentist Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Older adults may not have been exposed to a proper amount of fluoride in childhood. Many seniors have extensive dental work because of it. Decay can form around broken or weakened fillings, bridges, or crowns.

Q: Do cavities have any symptoms?

Edmond, OK, Dentist Damon R. Johnson: In the beginning, no. Most cavities are caught during a regular dental exam.

Q: What about those that are not?

Edmond Dentist Damon R. Johnson, DDS: A cavity that’s been around for a while may cause a toothache. Often, it’s only noticeable after drinking something hot or cold or consuming sweet foods.

Q: Are cavities treatable?

Edmond, OK, Dentist Damon R. Johnson: Most cavities can be filled. At Damon R. Johnson, DDS Dental Excellence, we use composite material for this.

Q: That is the tooth-colored filling material, right?

Edmond Dentist Damon R. Johnson, DDS: It is. We prefer it to mercury, gold, or silver amalgam.

Q: What can I do if the cavity is beyond being filled?

Edmond, OK, Dentist Damon R. Johnson: This is when crowns become an option. A crown is essentially a cap that goes over a severely damaged tooth.

Q: When is a root canal needed?

Edmond Dentist Damon R. Johnson, DDS: A root canal is used only when the pulp of the tooth is no longer viable. A dentist will remove the decayed tooth segments along with the nerves and blood vessels surrounding. The roots are then filled with a sealing material and the rest of the tooth is crowned.

Q: That sounds painful. We are going to go out on a limb and say that prevention is best in this case.

Edmond, OK, Dentist Damon R. Johnson: I won’t argue that.