When the team at Bell Dental meets with patients, they always make sure to emphasize prevention as well as general care. This focus on treatment and prevention makes us one of the leading cosmetic and advanced restorative dentistry practices in the Lake Jackson area.
With this in mind, we'd like to take a look at tooth decay, which is a common dental problem that many people face.
About Tooth Decay
Tooth decay refers to the steady damage that is done to a person's tooth structure by oral bacteria that naturally occurs within the mouth. This oral bacteria eats away at the tooth enamel and then proceeds to wear down the dentin if left untreated. Sometimes the damage goes all the way into the center of the tooth where soft tissue known a dental pulp is located. When this happens, a tooth can become infected, resulting in serious pain and spread of the infection to other parts of the mouth.
It's ideal for tooth decay to be treated as soon as possible. Below are some of the most common kinds of dental restorations used to address tooth decay.
Dental fillings are common restorations used for small to regular-sized cavities. These come in tooth-colored and metal forms, both of which are quite durable, though the former have aesthetic benefits over metal ones.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are more substantial restorations that are used to rebuild larger sections of damaged tooth structure. Think of them as larger versions of fillings. These inlays and onlays are even able to replace the biting surfaces (cusps) of the teeth.
When a tooth is seriously damaged or decayed, the best option to save the tooth is a dental crown. These restorations are used to cap a tooth completely, protecting the healthy tooth structure from further harm while also restoring a patient's biting and chewing ability.
Which treatment option is best for me?
Ideally, dentists want to preserve as much of a patient's natural tooth structure as possible. This is why smaller restorations tend to be more ideal in most cases. During your consultation, you'll learn which kind off restoration is right for you.
If your tooth is infected, a root canal is generally performed in order to save the tooth, which will involve the removal of the infected dental pulp. When a tooth is too fargone to be saved, the most ideal option for care is extraction.
Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay
In order to prevent tooth decay, consider the following tips:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Floss your teeth at least once every night
- Drink water to stay hydrated and clean away food particles
- Avoid snacking on sugary foods
- Visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups
Learn More About Treating and Preventing Tooth Decay
For more information about tooth decay treatments and great options for prevention, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team here at Bell Dental looks forward to your visit and helping you have a beautiful and healthy smile.