Can you reverse tooth decay?
Most patients will develop some degree of tooth decay; the hope is to control it, stop it and then reverse the damage done before the decay reaches the inner pulp. The best way to catch the bacteria that causes decay is through developing good oral hygiene habits and then meeting with a hygienist for regular cleanings to both evaluate the level of decay and remove any buildup of plaque and tartar. Our staff at ImplantWide can evaluate your current levels of decay and then make predictions based on your current status, we can then discuss options to prevent future problems and how to reverse current problems. With our team at ImplantWide, we can help you reverse the damage done and restore the health of your teeth.
Teeth develop spots of decay from bacteria feeding on the sugars found in food debris in your mouth, as the bacteria feed, it then emits an acid that breaks down the hard enamel layer. Decay is frequently referred to as cavities or caries. The bacteria will need to be removed and the damage repaired to restore the tooth’s health.
How is decay removed?
Bacteria is removed through multiple sources throughout your day, including drinking water, your saliva, brushing, flossing and rinsing. The difficult part is that bacteria is constant, it is in the foods and drinks we consume, in the air, we breathe and even collected when we kiss. For this reason, we need to remain constantly diligent in keeping bad bacteria at bay. When a tooth has a spot of decay, it must be removed by a dentist.
At ImplantWide, we remove decay, with consideration to the health of the tooth and your overall mouth. This means that we want to remove as little enamel as necessary. It is always best to save as much of the natural tooth structure as possible. The decayed portion is removed through simple drilling, and the space is then filled. Some patients may require the additional step of root canal therapy, which is required to save a tooth if the inner pulp has become infected. Depending on the size of the cavity, or enamel removed, we may make different recommendations for strengthening the tooth structure.
Rebuilding the Tooth
After we have assessed and diagnosed the level of damage, we can discuss restoration. Small levels of decay, or small cavities, can have the tooth repaired with a filling material, either silver amalgam or tooth-colored composite. Teeth that have larger amounts of damage may require something to provide additional strength; this may include an inlay or onlay, which is sometimes referred to as a 3/4 dental crown, or a full dental crown.
Dental crowns are a customized cap designed to match your tooth in size, shape, and dentition. They serve as a shield for the original tooth structure, protecting the structure beneath. Though some patients may find the cost of a dental crown to be problematic, the cost of not protecting the tooth can lead to significant more pain, time in the chair, and cost, in the future.