Chesapeake family dentist, Dr. John Cranham is highly experienced in treating tooth cavities in both children and adults.

What Causes Tooth Cavities

Tooth cavities 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.

The best way to prevent tooth cavities is routine visits to the dentist. Call 757.656.4109 or request an appointment online.

Symptoms
Fillings
Root Canal
Crowns
Children
  • Tooth Cavity Symptoms

    Some patients experience no recognizable symptoms in early stages of tooth cavity formation. Your dentist, however, is likely to spot early signs of early tooth decay and can prevent the tooth cavity from forming or getting worse.

    As the tooth cavity gets larger, symptoms may include:

    • Toothache
    • Tooth sensitivity
    • Pain when eating hot or cold foods and beverages
    • Visible holes in teeth
    • Pus around the tooth and gums

    How to Prevent Tooth Cavities:

    • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste (if over the age of 2)
    • Floss daily – cavities frequently form between teeth
    • Maintain a healthy diet, limiting sugary snacks and soda
    • Visit the dentist regularly for teeth cleanings and exams
  • Tooth Fillings

    Dr. Cranham practices mercury-free dentistry and uses tooth-colored porcelain and composite resin fillings to repair decay and restore dental health.

    Disadvantages of Metal Fillings

    Metal fillings are unattractive and may actually weaken teeth. The edges of metal fillings can deteriorate and create openings that bacteria can penetrate. Amalgams often leave a dark color or stain on teeth and gums.

    Porcelain Fillings

    Porcelain fillings are often used to restore teeth with large cavities or tooth damage. Also called inlays and onlays, these restorations are extremely durable, match existing tooth color, and protect teeth for years to come. An inlay fits inside the cusps, or bumps, of a tooth. An onlay is larger and covers one or more tooth cusps.

    Some Things to Consider About Porcelain Fillings...
    Metal fillings can reduce tooth strength up to 50%. Porcelain fillings are bonded directly onto teeth with special high-strength resins and can actually increase tooth strength up to 75%. This means that your restoration may last from 10 to 30 years.

    Composite Resin Fillings

    If you have a relatively small cavity, Dr. Cranham may fill it with a tooth-colored composite resin. This material is bio-compatible, fairly durable and impervious to decay.

    Can you replace my metal fillings with tooth-colored ones?
    Yes! Many people ask us to replace their metal fillings. Dr. Cranham removes amalgam fillings and replaces them with durable, attractive, tooth-colored restorations.

  • Root Canal Therapy

    In some cases, the tooth decay may be so severe that it extends to the tooth's root canal, causing extreme pain or infection. We offer root canal treatment in our office.

    About the Root Canal Procedure

    The goal of root canal therapy is to remove all infected tissue from the inside of the tooth and then fill the tooth to prevent further infection.

    A small hole is made in the tooth to access to the tooth pulp. The infected tissue and damaged nerve will be removed and the root canal will be thoroughly cleaned and polished. Antibiotics may be prescribed, if infection is found, and the tooth will be temporarily sealed until the infection has healed.

    Once the infection is clear and the root canal is free of debris, it will be filled with a biocompatible rubber compound called gutta percha. The tooth will then be covered either a dental filling or dental crown to add strength and protect it from future damage.

    Cost of Root Canal Therapy

    The cost of root canal procedures depends on your specific circumstances. We accept most dental insurance and can submit claims on your behalf. We also offer flexible payment options to help you cover the root canal cost.

  • Custom Dental Crowns

    For large cavities, Dr. Cranham may choose a dental crown to cover the tooth and restore stability. Our dental crowns can be designed and fabricated in our Chesapeake office using the E4D CAD/CAM system or hand crafted in the adjacent dental lab.

    Having Bayview Dental Laboratory in the same building with us will allow you to meet the dental technician who will be fabricating your restorations. This customized, team approach to restorative dentistry will provide you with a dental experience second to none!

    The Crown Process

    • Design and creation: Dr. Cranham will prepare your tooth, take a dental impression, and fit you with a temporary. A skilled ceramist at a trusted lab will handcraft your restoration to exacting standards.
    • Placement: At your second visit, Dr. Cranham will remove the temporary, apply your crown, then adjust the fit and bond it in place to renew your smile.
  • Tooth Decay in Children

    Did You Know? 50% of first-graders and 80% of 17-year-olds have tooth cavities.

    Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in America. Pediatric dentistry is extremely important to help children and adolescents establish healthy mouths early for a lifetime of smiles.

    As a Chesapeake family dentist, Dr. Cranham provides comprehensive treatment for children to prevent and treat tooth cavities:

    • Fluoride Treatment
    • Routine x-rays and caries screening
    • Dental Sealants
    • Tooth Colored (Resin) Fillings
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"Dr. Cranham and his team are amazing! I have had years of challenges with TMJ and Dr. Cranham has found innovative treatments to correct my bite and my smile. Dr. Cranham is caring and gentle, which is important to me, as I have been a nervous dental patient. His knowledge and experience are impressive and I love recommending him to my clients who are new to Hampton Roads. A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Cranham and Staff!"

-Nancy K.

"I came to Dr. Cranham's office unhappy with the over all look of my front teeth. I wanted them whiter and wanted the edges to be more uniform and to close spaces, at the gumline, that were left after having braces. After an examination and a consultation, we determined the best course of treatment for me would be a combination of bleaching some teeth and doing veneers on others. This enabled us to be very conservative but also give me the look I wanted . I am so thankful to my dental team for giving me the smile I envisioned."

-David V.

"I am typically not an easygoing patient; however, my experience with Dr. Cranham and his staff continues to be nothing short of excellent. I am constantly reminded of my satisfaction with their work by a steady stream of compliments from both friends and strangers."

-Katie H.

"Dr. Cranham gave me the smile I always knew I had inside. Due to medical issues as a young child, my permanent teeth did not have the whiteness I wanted. In almost every family and school picture I took, I wouldn’t show my teeth. Dr. Cranham changed my life and gave me the confidence to greet the world with a smile."

-Mark C.

"I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Cranham. He listens carefully to what you want and your concerns and shows you what he thinks would be good for you. He has the most up-to-date equipment and an office staff second to none. He does beautiful work, and thanks to him, I don’t have to be self conscious about my smile anymore."

-Barbara C.