The team at Brown & Baran Family Dentistry has helped countless patients look their best and feel great in the process. We are among the leading general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry practices in the Wilmington area, emphasizing smart solutions and preventative care.
We commonly help patients dealing with tooth decay, so we would like to take this opportunity to consider the various treatment options for this problem.
The Extent of Your Tooth Decay Will Determine the Ideal Treatment
Tooth decay can vary in many ways. Minor cavities, for instance, call for much different treatment measures than major issues with decay. Because of this, dentists always carefully tailor treatments to meet the needs of patients. That's why there are different restorations and solutions for various levels of tooth decay.
For basic cavities and tooth decay, the best option to consider is a dental filling. Dental fillings will help restore damaged tooth structure and prevent cavities from progressing and harming more of the tooth.
Like the other restorations we will mention below, dental fillings come in metal and tooth-colored forms.
Inlays and Onlays
When tooth decay is too serious for a traditional dental filling, the next best option is an inlay or onlays. Inlays and onlays are similar to dental fillings, though they are larger and able to rebuild more of a patient's damaged tooth structure. Inlays and onlays can even replace the entire cusps (biting surfaces) of the teeth.
In general, tooth colored inlays and onlays are better for the front teeth, while metal inlays and onlays may be more ideal for the molars and pre-molars.
When a tooth is severely decayed or damaged, your best option for care is the use of a dental crown. Dental crowns are used to cap a serious damaged tooth. In the process, the tooth structure is protected from further harm and patients are able to bite and chew without soreness, discomfort, or sensitivity.
As with inlays and onlays, tooth-colored crowns are better for the front teeth, which meal crowns may be better for the molars and pre-molars.
Root Canal Therapy
Dental restorations are great for cavities, but sometimes additional treatments are necessary to save a tooth with major decay. For instance, a tooth may be so decayed that it exposes the internal dental pulp structure to bacteria. This results in what is known as a root canal infection. These can be painful and cause spread of infection to other parts of the mouth.
The best option for treating root canal infections is endodontic treatment. This will involve the removal of the diseased dental pulp to alleviate pain and prevent the need for extraction.
Tooth Extraction for Major Decay
Dentists make all efforts to save teeth, but sometimes it just cannot be done. When a tooth is too decayed to be restored, the only option left is extraction. Your dentist can then recommend dental appliances to fill the space left behind by the missing tooth or teeth, such as a dental bridge or a denture.
Schedule a Visit to Brown & Baran Family Dentistry
If you would like to learn more about your treatment options for cavities and serious tooth decay, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at Brown & Baran Family Dentistry look forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the healthiest smile possible.