Along with excellent daily oral care–brushing at least twice each day and flossing at least once daily–keeping up with periodic dental checkups is your biggest preventative for dental caries along with gum disease. We also check to make sure old dental fillings aren’t leaking, causing further decay. Checkups allow your dentist to find early signs of tooth decay, which you might not detect because there is no pain yet. When our dentist detects the signs of tooth decay our treatment varies depending on the stage of decay.
A first line of defense against cavities is fluoride, so if you are prone to tooth decay and we discover enamel erosion, we can apply fluoride treatment to restore the tooth enamel. This only takes a few minutes and is more effective at protecting your pearly whites than just drinking tap water or using fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash.
If the decay has advanced beyond enamel erosion, we will perform a dental restoration with dental fillings. Fillings may be made from composite resin, porcelain or amalgam fillings (a combination of material).
If the decay has weakened the tooth structure, we may advise placing a crown on the tooth, after removing all decay in the area and shaping what is left of the tooth material to fit the crown. Crown material can include porcelain, gold, or resin.
Once the decay reaches down the pulp, a root canal can save your tooth. Using a drill we remove all diseased pulp and fill the cavity. If there is infection along with the decay, we will prescribe antibiotics to stop inflammation.
Pulling the Tooth
If the tooth decay is too far advanced and the tooth is damaged beyond repair, we will recommend removing the tooth. Because this will leave a gap where the tooth originally was located, the surrounding teeth can begin to shift. In this case, we recommend a bridge or dental implant to prevent this from happening.
Cavity restoration varies depending on the stage of tooth decay. Regular dental checkups are an excellent preventative option to spot issues early when they are the most easily treated. To schedule a visit with our skilled dentist, Dr. Scott Elrod, please call our Distinctive Dental Services team in Lake Jackson, Texas at 979-297-0337 today!