To protect your teeth from tooth decay, you brush twice a day, floss every night, and visit your family dentist in Oak Hill twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. Despite your best efforts, a cavity can still develop. As the most common chronic condition in America, it is estimated that over 92% of adults have had at least one in a permanent tooth. Whether you have had one or not, it is vital for you to take a proactive approach to help reduce your risk of one. To help protect your smile, there are a few facts that you need to know about tooth decay.
1. YOU CANNOT REVERSE THE DAMAGE
All too often, people tend to think that you can brush away a cavity, but this is not true. Once the damage is done, there is no going back, and the problem will continue to get worse until you have it treated by your dentist in Oak Hill.
Thankfully, your dentist can easily detect cavities during their earliest stages of development at your semi-annual checkup. The sooner it is found, the quicker it can be treated using a less invasive treatment.
2. YOU NO LONGER NEED A METAL FILLING
To treat cavities, a filling is most often used. In the past, amalgam fillings were the go-to treatment. While they are effective and affordable, they are dark in appearance, which can cause you to feel insecure when smiling. Not to mention, they are made from metals, which can expose you to mercury. As an alternative to metal fillings, you can now choose an option that looks natural.
Using a composite resin material, you can treat your tooth decay without mercury. The metal-free fillings can be customized to match your enamel color. As a result, they will blend in seamlessly when you smile.
3. UNTREATED TOOTH DECAY MAY REQUIRE A ROOT CANAL
If you wait too long to have a cavity treated, a dental filling may no longer be a viable option to repair your tooth. If the decay extends beyond your enamel and dentin, it can infect the innermost layer of your tooth, known as the pulp. If this occurs, you will need a root canal.
A root canal removes the decay and extracts the pulp. Your tooth will be sealed to prevent further damage, and a dental crown will be placed over it to restore its function and appearance.
4. BIG CAVITIES WILL REQUIRE A CROWN
If your cavity gets too big, your tooth’s structure becomes compromised. As a result, a filling cannot be used because your tooth will not be able to support it. Instead, you will need a dental crown. This is a protective cap that is placed over it. To bond it in place, it will involve permanently altering the shape of your tooth.
COMBAT TOOTH DECAY
To save your smile from unnecessary damage, commit to your home oral hygiene habits and visit your dentist regularly.
About Dr. Jack Fan
Dr. Jack Fan provides comprehensive dental care to the community to help his patients reach optimal oral health. He embraces the latest advancements in dentistry to help improve the health and appearance of your smile. If you need a routine appointment, contact The Dental Centre today!