There are various methods of restoring teeth affected by tooth decay, and regular dental checkups help your dental team spot tooth decay early before decay advances into the stages requiring intensive and costly treatment.
At your checkups we look for cavities, the early signs of gum disease, and check on old fillings to make sure they are not leaking which can cause further decay. Tooth decay can be reversed in the early stages and the tooth is still not causing you pain. This is also why early detection is important, because if there is no pain and you are not aware there is a problem, the tooth can’t be fixed. So let’s take a look at how we can restore your healthy smile by taking care of cavities.
Fluoride – if we detect the early stages of tooth decay, we may recommend fluoride treatment to restore the enamel, which takes a few minutes for the treatment and then your tooth enamel is protected. In-office fluoride treatment is more effective than the fluoride you receive from drinking most tap water, or using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwashes, although those are helpful.
Filling – dental restorations, or fillings, are the next level to repair tooth decay if the decay has advanced beyond enamel erosion. Fillings can come in a variety of materials, including composite resins, porcelain or amalgam fillings (a combination of material).
Crown – if your tooth decay has progressed enough to weaken the tooth structure, we may advise placing a crown on the tooth. We will remove all decay in the area and shape what is left of the tooth material to fit the crown material. Crown material can include porcelain, gold, or resin.
Root Canal – once the decay reaches down the pulp, you will likely require a root canal. This still saves the tooth as only the diseased pulp is removed and the cavity is filled. To treat any lingering infection, you will also receive antibiotics.
Pulling the Tooth – if the tooth is beyond repair, we will need to remove it. Pulling a tooth means you will be left with empty space where the tooth was located, and which may allow the remaining teeth to shift. Therefore, we may recommend a bridge or dental implant to restore your smile.
To keep your smile healthy and strong, we invite you to maintain dental checkups so that we can spot and treat problems in the early stages. To schedule a visit with Dr. Lynh Pham, please call our Smiley Dental Garland team in Dallas, Texas at 214.321.8400 today!