Treatment Options for Tooth Decay
By J. Brent Gorrell on September 04, 2015
Patients of Dr. J. Brent Gorrell know that he is a leading dentist based in Mountain View, offering advanced dental care treatments that improve dental health and promote general wellness. This includes cosmetic procedures that enhance the aesthetics of smiles as well as restorative dentistry treatments that address problems affecting the teeth and gums.
Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems that dentists see every visit. Let's look at some of the most common treatment options for tooth decay and what they involve.
Dental fillings are common restorations that are ideal for treating cavities and minor instances of tooth decay. These are some of the most common kinds of restorations used. Like the other restorations that we will discuss, they come in both tooth-colored and metal form. Your dentist can determine which is most ideal for you and your needs during your visit.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are restorations that are used when the case of tooth decay is too serious to be addressed through a standard dental filling. These are larger restorations that are able to replace the cusps (biting surfaces) of severely damaged or decayed teeth.
When a tooth is too severely damaged for even onlays to be a viable treatment option, dental crowns are used. Dental crowns are caps for the teeth that are used to cover the remaining healthy tooth structure, protecting it from harm and also restoring a tooth's ability to bite and chew without any discomfort.
Root Canal Therapy for Infected Teeth
When a case of tooth decay is so severe that it leads to an infection of the tooth, that's when a root canal is necessary. Root canal therapy involves the removal of infected dental pulp, the sterilization of the inside of a tooth, filling the interior structure of a tooth with an inert material, and the capping of the tooth with a crown. This saves the tooth from extraction, and also alleviates pain while preventing the spread of the infection to other parts of the mouth.
Tooth Extraction for Severe Decay
When a tooth is too decayed to be saved, the only viable option is to remove it. Following the extraction of the tooth, your dentist can discuss options out there for replacing the tooth, such as a bridge or a restoration supported by a dental implant.
Root Planing and Scaling for Removing Tartar and Plaque Buildup
As a preventative treatment for tooth decay. Dentists can perform deep cleanings, which you may know better by the terms root planing and root scaling. This will involve the scraping away of plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth, which makes tooth decay less likely.
Regular Cleanings for Preventative Care
Basic dental cleanings can go a long way toward eliminating cavities and preventing tooth decay. That's why it's so important to visit your dentist twice a year for routine checkups.
Learn More About Treating Tooth Decay
For more information about treatments for tooth decay and how they can help you have the healthiest smile possible, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. J. Brent Gorrell will help your smile look its absolute best.
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“I moved out of the area 20 years ago and happily drive 40 miles to still see Dr. Gorrell. Best dentist ever.” Kevin B.