The team at Dental Associates of New England is committed to expert dental care. Patients throughout the Boston area can expect comprehensive general dentistry procedures focused on enhancing dental health and total wellness.
Treating tooth decay is a common thing at the practice, and while some cavities just need a filling, others require dental crowns to cap the tooth and protect it from harm. Let's consider the causes of tooth decay and the options that patients have for treatment and prevention.
Tooth decay is caused by the bacteria that naturally occurs in the mouth. This is the same bacteria that causes bad breath and gum disease. The oral bacteria feeds on food particles in the mouth, expelling a corrosive substance in the process. Over time and with poor oral hygiene habits, this eats into the enamel of the tooth, causing a cavity to occur.
The most common solution for minor cavities and small amount of tooth decay is a dental filling. These dental fillings help rebuild the lost tooth structure, keeping the tooth strong and restoring a patient's ability to bite and chew again.
When a traditional dental filling is not sufficient to address more serious cases of tooth decay, the next option to consider is an inlay or onlay. Inlays and onlays are used to restore larger sections of tooth structure that have been damaged or decayed. The inlays and onlays are strong enough to restore even the biting surfaces (cusps) of a patient's teeth.
For extensive tooth decay that has damaged a tooth, the ideal option for saving the tooth is to use a dental crown. Dental crowns are used to cap a tooth that has been seriously damaged, protecting it from harm and allowing a patient to bite and chew normally as well.
When major tooth decay has caused a tooth to become infected (i.e., bacteria has breached the enamel and dentin layers), a root canal can be performed in order to remove the infected dental pulp, sterilize the hollow chamber within the tooth, and restore a patient's ability to bite and chew.
In some major cases of tooth decay, a tooth may be beyond saving. In those cases, the ideal treatment option involves the extraction of the tooth. Once the tooth is removed, a dentist can consider options for tooth replacement, such as a dental bridge.
To prevent tooth decay from occurring, consider the following tips:
For more information about treating tooth decay and how our team can help you, it's important that you contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at Dental Associates of New England will help you have the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible.