Dental checkups help find dental decay early, before it turns into a big problem requiring intensive and costly treatment. We can find cavities, the early signs of gum disease, and even check on old fillings to make sure they are not leaking, causing further decay.
In the early stages, tooth decay can be reversed, especially if the tooth is not causing you pain. Which is why early detection is important, if you are not aware there is a problem, the tooth can’t be fixed.
If your tooth decay is caught in the early stages, we may apply fluoride treatment to restore the enamel. 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 can help. It just takes a few minutes for the treatment and then your tooth enamel is protected.
Dental restorations, or filling, are the go-to repair option for tooth decay if the decay has advanced beyond the early stages of enamel erosion. Fillings can come in a variety of materials, including composite resins, porcelain or amalgam fillings (a combination of material).
If your tooth decay has progressed far enough to weaken the tooth structure, we may need to place 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.
Once tooth decay reaches down through your tooth layers to 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.
If the tooth is beyond repair, we will need to remove it. Pulling a tooth does mean an empty space will be left behind 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, keep up with dental checkups so we can treat tooth decay in its earliest stages. To schedule a visit with Dr. Marcie Bunch or Dr. Minjeong Suk, please call our Smiley Dental Buckner team in Dallas, Texas at 972.616.0060 today!