Some of the most common dental treatments are similar for everyone. For instance, routine dental cleanings always involve carefully and thoroughly cleaning away plaque and tartar from your teeth. However, given the unique nature of everyone’s oral health, most dental treatments have to be customized to meet everyone’s specific needs. For example, if you develop tooth decay, then the extent of it and the most appropriate treatment for it can depend on a number of different factors.
When your decay is still minor
The most frequent way for tooth decay to develop is for oral bacteria to systematically erode the enamel that protects a tooth, then infect the main structure once it’s exposed. At first, this infection is relatively minor, and aside from sensitivity in your tooth, you might not notice the cavity that has developed. If your enamel is still intact when you seek treatment, then treatment may simply involve strengthening the enamel, such as with fluoride treatment and improved hygiene practices. If a cavity does develop, then a tooth-colored filling may provide a conservative and natural-looking solution to restoring your tooth.
When it’s more severe than you realized
Mild to moderate cavities can often be treated successfully with tooth-colored fillings, even if they have a chance to grow larger. However, that’s only because the cavity is still located within the main structure of your tooth’s crown, known as the dentin. When tooth decay reaches the inner pulp chamber at the center of your tooth, a filling procedure will no longer be sufficient to treat it. Because the pulp is connected to your root canal, treating internal decay requires removing the tissues within the tooth and cleaning out the pulp and root canal to thoroughly remove the infection.
When it’s allowed to get extreme
Root canal treatment can help many people save their teeth from severe tooth decay, but waiting to treat the tooth can sometimes lead to much more extreme conditions. To restore your tooth, there must be enough healthy, natural tooth structure remaining to support the restorative treatment. In extreme cases of decay, however, there may not be enough healthy tooth structure remaining, and the longer the tooth is present, the greater risk it can pose to the rest of your oral health. To prevent further complications and make way for restoring your smile, we may recommend extracting an extremely decayed tooth as soon as possible.
Learn how to treat your tooth decay
Tooth decay affects everyone to varying degrees, which is why treatment for it has to be personalized to meet your specific needs. To learn more, schedule an appointment with us by calling Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS, today at 913-681-5500. We also serve patients who live in Overland Park and all surrounding communities.