Your teeth need constant care to remain healthy, and that’s why it’s crucial to schedule regular visits to your dentist to avoid dental problems. Those visits to the doctor can help stop potential dental issues before they progress. Dental issues detected early enough can save you extensive treatment and costs.
Poor oral hygiene, diet, or medical conditions can lead to tooth decay. Maybe you’re amongst those who found themselves in a position where one or more of your teeth need a dentist’s care due to rotting and are wondering if they can be salvaged. The answer is yes and below are some ways it can be restored:
1. Root Canal
Also known as endodontic treatment, a root canal is a procedure performed on the tooth when the pulp - the soft tissue present in your tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, becomes inflamed or infected due to deep tooth decay. During a root canal treatment, the infected pulp is removed, then the inside of the tooth is properly cleaned and sealed with sealing material. Afterward, the tooth is restored with filling material or a crown.
The affected tooth can function the same as the others after treatment. Teeth that have undergone root canals are known to last a lifetime if maintained properly. If you have tooth pain and have been putting it off, log on to https://www.durangodmd.com/root-canal-therapy/ to schedule a dental appointment.
2. Fluoride Treatment
Tooth decay is hard to detect, especially in its initial stages, since it has no symptoms. If you don’t regularly visit a dentist who can check your dental health, you may miss an opportunity to stop tooth decay in its formative stage. However, if you’re lucky to detect tooth decay early enough, you may be able to halt further deterioration of the tooth through fluoride treatment.
In this treatment, highly concentrated fluoride in a gel, foam, rinse, or varnish form is applied to your tooth with a brush, swab, mouthwash, or tray. The treatment takes only a few minutes.
Fluoride can remineralize the tooth that may have been damaged by oral bacteria. Fluoride can stop the further growth of the bacteria and prevent cavities from forming further. Fluoride can also create a barrier on the outer surface of your tooth to prevent further decay. Fluoride treatment is non-invasive, and the tooth structure is not affected in any way.
A portion of your tooth can decay to a point where it has to be removed to prevent further damage. Or the decayed portion can slowly come off by itself. In both cases, the missing part of the tooth has to be replaced to restore proper function, give it its original look, seal it, and prevent bacteria from accessing the tooth. This is done through a procedure called filling.
A dentist uses dental filling to fill the space left by the decayed tooth tissue. In this procedure, the decayed portion of the tooth is removed using a drill, laser, or abrasion instrument. The space is then cleaned, and filling material is put in the tooth to restore it.
Dental fillings are available in different materials:
- Silver amalgam filling: This has been around for a long time and is made from a combination of metals. It’s popular because of its strength and durability and is less expensive than the other options. It can stay in your tooth for up to 12 years after being fixed. Moreover, its malleability makes it a preferred choice for dentists. However, its color does not blend with teeth, so it’s mostly used to fill the inner teeth that are out of sight.
- Composite filling: This is made from resin and plastic. It’s positioned in the tooth while still soft then a curing light is used to harden it. Many people prefer it because its color can match your teeth. Its life span is about 10 years.
- Ceramic filling: It’s made from porcelain material, making it aesthetically appealing and long-lasting. Even though it costs more than the other fillings, it can resist abrasions and stains more than a composite filling.
- Glass ionomer filling: It’s made from acrylic and glass material. Although it’s not as strong as the other filling materials and only lasts for a few years, it can release fluoride to the teeth to prevent further decay. It's usually used on children’s teeth as they are still forming.
Teeth that get severely damaged due to decay or other reasons can be restored with a dental crown procedure. A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap created and placed on your damaged tooth. They are usually used when a tooth is weak and a filling will not do much, or if the tooth is broken and not much is left. Sometimes a tooth that has undergone a root canal can also be covered by a crown.
In this procedure, the dentist will remove the decayed part of your tooth and reshape it by filing the top and sides. Impressions of your tooth will be sent to a laboratory where the crown will be made. Eventually, the crown will be fit into your tooth and cemented permanently in place. Typically, a crown will cover your entire tooth and restore its shape, strength, size, and appearance. Crowns are typically made from metal, porcelain, resin, ceramic, or porcelain. Dental crowns last between five to 15 years, depending on their conditions.
5. Dental Veneers
Fluorosis and certain antibiotics can form permanent stains beneath the enamel of the teeth. While external tooth stains can be bleached, permanent stains are tougher to remove and can only be dealt with through other methods of restoration like masking. Dental masking is the covering of dental discolorations.
Masking can be done through dental veneers like:
- Porcelain veneers: In this procedure, a thin layer of enamel is removed from the affected tooth and digital impressions are taken. The impressions are then used to design the shape of your tooth using porcelain material. The restoration material is then bonded to the tooth using bonding material.
- Composite resin veneers: In this procedure, your affected tooth will be coated using composite resin, then the tooth will be shaped under a curing light. This procedure will coat your discolored tooth and seamlessly blend it with the surrounding good teeth. It can completely change the appearance of your discolored teeth. Sometimes porcelain veneers are used to mask the front surface of teeth while the composite resin is used for the back.
Although decayed teeth can be restored through the above cosmetic procedures, this shouldn’t be a reason to neglect your teeth. If not for anything else, save yourself from a trip to the dentist and practice good dental hygiene.