Oct 29

Treatment Options for Cavities and Tooth Decay

Treatment for Cavities - Houston, TX

by Jon Marc Van Slate DDS

The effects of tooth decay and cavitiesThe team at our Houston dental care center deals with cavities everyday. Whether we're taking preventative measures in the fight against cavities or using restorative dentistry to reverse the effects of tooth decay, patients can rest assured that they are in good hands with us.

When cavities do occur, we have many ways of improving a patient's dental health. Let's consider the dangers of cavities and then go over some common tooth decay treatments.

The Danger of Cavities

Cavities should not be taken for granted. Even small cavities can seriously weaken a tooth, which increases the risk of toothaches as well as fractures while biting and chewing. Left untreated, a cavity can increase the risk of a painful root canal infection, the spread of infection to other parts of the mouth, as well as the loss of a tooth.

To address cavities, there are different kinds of dental restorations available. These rebuild damaged tooth structure and improve overall dental wellness in the process.

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are a standard restoration for minor cavities and tooth decay. With a dental filling in place, small cavities are filled and the threat of further decay is stopped. As with the other restorations we will mention, fillings are available in both metal and tooth-colored forms.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are larger restorations that are used when a traditional filling is not sufficient. Inlays and onlays are able to rebuild the cusps, which are the biting surfaces of the teeth. Thanks to these dental restorations, a person can bite and chew as they normally would without serious pain or discomfort.

Dental Crowns

When a tooth is extremely damaged or decayed, the best option for treatment tends to be the use of a dental crown. Dental crowns are used to cap teeth that have experienced major structural compromise. The crown fits over the remaining structure of a tooth, protecting it from harm and restoring its strength in the process.

Root Canal Therapy

If a tooth becomes infected as a result of tooth decay, it's important that root canal therapy be performed. During a root canal, the infected pulp inside of the tooth is removed and the hollow chamber inside of the tooth is sterilized. A dental crown is used to cap the treated tooth to protect it from further harm.

Tooth Extraction for Major Tooth Decay

There are some cases in which a tooth is just too damaged or decay to be saved or restored. In these instances, the best option to consider is tooth extraction. Once the problem tooth is removed, a dentist can go over some options for filling the gap where the extracted tooth used to be.

Tips for Preventing Cavities

Prevention is always the best option when it comes to dental health and general wellness. These easy tips will help you prevent cavities from forming:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day (ideally after every meal)
  • Floss your teeth every night (ideally after every meal)
  • Avoid snacking on sugary foods and junk food
  • Avoid drinking soda and sugary juices
  • Drink water through the day to hydrate
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for routine checkups

Contact Our Practice to Treat Your Tooth Decay

To learn more about treatment for tooth decay and which might be right for you, be sure to contact our advanced dental care practice today. The team at our practice is here to help you smile with renewed dental health and confidence.

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Jon Marc Van Slate DDS FAGD LVIF PC

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