In the world of dentistry, much of the game is focused on preventing cavities. Almost everyone stands a good chance of experiencing tooth decay at some point in their lives. If you're worried about the issue, it's a good idea to learn about the ways you might potentially address the problem. Here are 5 options for possibly handling tooth decay.
The Classic Filling
There are certainly cases where there's nothing wrong with the classics. Your dentist will perform X-rays before doing anything else because they need to know how deep the problem runs. If everything seems reasonable to deal with, they'll resort to a classic solution, the standard dental fill. A hole will be drilled out of the decayed area, leaving behind nothing but healthy tooth. The hole will then be filled with resin and set instantly using UV light.
At the opposite end of the scale of potential solutions is a root canal. This is a procedure that's reserved for when the decay is starting to penetrate deep into the tooth, affecting the roots to the point that they and surrounding nerves are getting inflamed. As with a filling, the doctor drills out all the affected material in the tooth and fill it in. The big difference is that they tap a hole in the top and work down to the problem area.
Caries Control Procedure
This is sort of the halfway option. It is fundamentally a filling for a tooth that has significant outward signs of decay. After the infected stuff is removed, a filling that includes medication in it is applied. This is an attempt to keep inflammation down and to help the healthy part of the tooth recover.
If decay is in the earliest stages and mostly external, it may be possible to use fluoride as a treatment. You may be given an oral rinse, a gel, or a foam. There are also some treatments that use toothpaste. Some products are put in trays and applied to the teeth.
When a tooth becomes weakened to the point that a doctor worries none of the above options will hold up to the force of chewing, the entire exterior of the tooth may have to be replaced. The tooth will be treated as much as possible to provide it with a healthy base. A cap, often called a crown, will then be installed on top of the affected tooth.
For more information about dentistry procedures, talk to your local dentist.