Like any dental issue, the best way to protect your smile from cavities is to prevent them from forming. With great hygiene, regular dental care, and close attention to everyday threats to your teeth, you can usually do so easily. The reason why prevention is best is because once a cavity forms, it doesn’t stop progressing until you address it. The decay that causes it will affect more and more of your tooth structure until the tooth is lost completely. Fortunately, there are several different ways to treat a cavity according to what stage it’s in, which means you can still have a chance at preventing more extensive decay.
Filling mild cavities
When cavities are still in their early to moderate stages, they can typically be filled with a biocompatible material, such as tooth-colored composite resin. First, your dentist will clean away the bacteria and any infected tooth structure, then place the custom-tinted resin into the cavity. This stops the decay from progressing while restoring the strength and integrity that the tooth has lost.
Treating infected root canals
In more severe cases of tooth decay, the cavity in your main tooth’s structure can reach the pulp chamber where the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels are. Because a simple filling won’t suffice, your dentist will have to clean the pulp of infected tissues, as well as the root canal that’s connected to it. Then, your dentist will seal these structures and the cavity to stop oral bacteria from entering them again.
Extracting extremely decayed teeth
When root canal treatment isn’t enough for a severely decayed tooth, your dentist will have to extract it to stop the decay from spreading through its root canal. Once the tooth and infection are removed, restoring your smile will require replacing it with a lifelike prosthesis, such as an implant-supported crown.
Don’t Ignore Dental Decay
It is important to realize that the teeth are strong, but they lack the ability to repair themselves the way some parts of the body can. This means that over time, without restorative treatment, a dental cavity is likely to worsen, often to the point of becoming a painful tooth infection.
Avoid this by taking great care of your teeth, through dental hygiene, a healthy diet and regular preventive checkups and exams. But also by paying attention to changes in your smile. If you notice deep discoloration, sudden or heightened sensitivity, or discomfort when chewing, know that these are all potential warning signs of enamel erosion, like cavities.
It’s Important Not to Ignore Dental Symptoms
While you might be tempted to ignore tooth sensitivity, or other symptoms of dental problems, this is likely to lead to worsening issues. That’s because teeth, while strong, lack the ability to repair themselves the way other parts of the body can. Left unaddressed, dental issues are only likely to worsen, potentially to the point of creating a painful tooth infection that could require root canal therapy or even extraction.
If you want to avoid the need for extensive restorative treatment, it’s important to seek treatment at the first sign of trouble, rather than waiting, allowing it to worsen with wear and exposure to foods, drinks and bacteria.
Treat Your Cavity Before It Grows Worse
Cavities are treated differently according to how severe they are, and the longer you wait, the more extensive your restoration will have to be. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517.
Dr Fondriest is a Nationally recognized and highly sought after cosmetic dentist serving clients from throughout the United States