What is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is a very common dental health problem that is addressed on a daily basis at our practice. There are plenty of ways that we can address the loss of tooth structure and the restoration of overall dental health. When you meet with your cosmetic dentist, you will be able to go over these matters in greater detail.
In this post, we’d like to focus on the different sorts of treatments that may be used to address tooth decay. There’s a whole lot more to it than just dental fillings, as you’re about to find out.
Tooth decay refers to the damage to overall tooth structure that occurs as a result of plaque buildup on the teeth. The plaque is produced by the natural bacteria that occurs in the mouth. This bacteria eats food particles and creates the corrosive substance known as plaque.
The Severity of Damage and the Treatments
When it comes to treating tooth decay, the best option is always the most conservative one. Dentists always want their patients to maintain as much of their natural tooth structure as possible whenever possible. This proves to be best for the patient’s dental health in the long run and allows them to avoid serious problems down the road.
With this in mind, let’s look at the different dental restoration options from most conservative to most invasive. At the end of this brief list, we’ll tell you what the best policy is when it comes to treating tooth decay.
Dental Fillings One of the most common treatments for tooth decay, dental fillings are a restorative treatment that you’ve most likely heard of. In the past, metal dental fillings were the norm, though these days the use of composite/ceramic dental fillings is ideal for optimal care.
Inlays and Onlays When dental fillings are not enough to address your tooth decay, then your cosmetic and restorative dentist will recommend the use of inlays and onlays. These are like larger versions of dental fillings, but they are able to restore more substantial sections of your tooth structure, such as the cusps (biting surfaces) of the teeth.
Dental Crowns When tooth decay is very severe and inlays and onlays are no longer a good option for care, dental crowns are the best treatment to consider. These are caps that fit over the affected tooth in order to restore its strength, improve its appearance, and prevent discomfort and sensitivity associated with the tooth damage.
Prevent It, You Won’t Regret It
It seems obvious, but we just can’t state it enough: the best way to fight tooth decay is to make sure it doesn’t happen. Preventative dentistry helps ensure that your dental health remains great for years and years to come. In order to prevent tooth decay, be sure to:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Floss every night
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups twice a year
Ideally, you’ll want to brush and floss after every meal in order to remove all food particles from the teeth. Visiting your dentist on time will also prevent the need for any invasive procedure and will definitely make your time spent there as pleasant as a chat in the park.