Along with regular at-home dental care, your general dentist can help you further prevent and treat tooth decay. With a few simple preventative care options, you can ensure that your teeth stay beautiful for a lifetime.
Stopping a problem before it even happens is not magic, it is just what your general dentist does every day.
Regular checkups and cleanings are a great way to have your dentist keep an eye on your teeth. By regularly being able to assess the condition of your dental health, your dentist will be able to give you better tips for your unique teeth.
Visiting your general dentist and asking them about tools for preventing tooth decay is another excellent option. Your dentist will be able to tell you what your specific needs are and recommend tools to help you. Your dentist may be able to suggest better toothbrushes or other dental hygiene devices or supplemental fluoride treatments.
A dental sealant is a kind of plastic that can be applied to the molars to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Ask your general dentist about this routine procedure, and see if the added protection of dental sealant could benefit your teeth.
Even with preventative care, some patients may still experience tooth decay. If that should happen, there are many treatment options available.
1. Fluoride treatments
For minor cavities caught in the early stages, your dentist may be able to administer fluoride treatments to reverse the decaying process. These treatments are more advanced and concentrated than regular at-home fluoride rinses and are most effective in the very earliest stages of tooth decay.
2. Fillings and crowns
More advanced tooth decay will require more intensive repair, with fillings and crowns being a favored and safe option. Fillings and crowns may be made of a variety of different materials and are used to replace tooth matter where decay has occurred. Fillings are used to fill holes left by cavities or decay, while crowns are used to replace the entire top part of the tooth, covering the sensitive root.
3. Root canal
When tooth decay has breached the outermost layers of the tooth and damaged inner parts are threatening the integrity of the tooth, a root canal becomes the best option. During a root canal, your dentist removes any dead or decayed tooth material, administers antibiotic medication to ensure any infection is removed and then applies a filling.
Tooth decay that has advanced so far that the tooth cannot be saved requires removal or extraction. While not ideal, removal of an infected and decaying tooth will help protect your mouth from further infection and save you a great deal of pain. Once extracted, your dentist can replace your tooth with a false option to preserve a natural look and ensure that your mouth will be well protected.
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