Tooth decay is the most common dental problem in the United States. It might even be considered the most common health issue.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 92 percent of American adults will develop at least one cavity by the time they are 64 years old. Nearly 1 in 4 American adults have untreated tooth decay.
That’s not good. Cavities in and of themselves can affect your smile, but untreated cavities can lead to much more serious consequences. In today’s post, we will discuss how Dr. Jerry Farrell and our team in Johnson City, NY can help you deal with decay at various stages.
Fix Cavities With Dental Fillings
You are likely aware that bacteria create plaque, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities. You also know that you are supposed to brush and floss daily and visit a dentist office like ours for regular professional cleanings.
If you have a cavity, you may notice:
▸ A brown or black spot forming on a tooth
▸ Increased tooth sensitivity (to hot, cold, or sweet things)
▸ A hole in your tooth
▸ Pain when you bite down with a particular tooth
If you visit us early, we can remove the decay and give you a dental filling.
Fillings traditionally have served two purposes. First, they restored the function of teeth with cavities. Second, they provided some protection against future decay.
But if you come to Dr. Farrell’s office, our fillings can do something else, too. They can keep your smile looking as good as it ever has. Since we offer tooth-colored fillings, we can repair your tooth, protect it, and restore the appearance of your smile at the same time.
You should also be aware that fillings do wear out from time to time. So, no matter what kind of fillings you get, you will need to replace them occasionally.
Restore Decayed Teeth With Dental Crowns
Let’s say you didn’t take care of your cavity early. Maybe you were hoping it would go away. Maybe it was in a place where you didn’t notice it, like the back of your mouth.
In either case, the cavity grew too large, and the decay has damaged too much of your teeth for a filling to fix it. What can you do? You can get a dental crown.
Where a filling fills in a hole in the tooth (the cavity), a dental crown is meant to replace the natural crown. A dental crown is more like a cap that fits over your decayed tooth.
Now, before you get your crown, we first will need to remove the decay. In doing this, we can reshape the tooth as well to create an abutment where the dental crown can be bonded in place.
The abutment provides the support, while the dental crown restores the form and the function of your tooth. As with our tooth-colored fillings, your smile will look as natural as ever with one of our dental crowns.
Repairing Infected Teeth With Root Canals
“Root canal” may be the two most feared words in dentistry. We say this based on the reactions we have seen from patients when they learn they need a root canal treatment.
This will be necessary if tooth decay spreads deep inside your tooth. If the bacteria is able to reach the pulp (a soft connective tissue at the center of a tooth), that tissue can become inflamed, which can be quite painful. Often, patients come to see us only when their pain is unbearable.
You could avoid a lot of suffering if you come to see us as soon as you notice something is wrong.
Nevertheless, the first step in a root canal will be making sure you don’t feel any more pain. We may accomplish with local anesthetic, medication, or both.
Once we know you are pain-free, we can create an opening in the tooth, remove the infected tissue, and clean the innermost parts of your tooth. Then, the tooth is filled with a special material that helps it retain its shape. Finally, it’s sealed with a dental crown or filling to restore your tooth’s function and appearance.
Take Care Of Tooth Decay As Soon As Possible
The best way to deal with tooth decay is preventive care. This starts with your brushing and flossing at home and continues with regular cleanings and exams at our Johnson City, NY dentist office.
Your visits give us an opportunity to recognize and remove problems in the early stages, when treatment is easier for you. If you need to make an appointment to treat or to prevent cavities, contact us online or call 607-304-3993.