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Given that tooth decay can lead to damaged teeth and the loss of teeth, we want to use this post to discuss the dangers of cavities and what treatments might be considered.
Minor cavities are not especially dangerous, but if left untreated, a cavity can lead to serious dental health problems.
For one, cavities can weaken your tooth structure, making serious damage more likely just from normal biting and chewing. In addition, cavities can lead to increased tooth sensitivity and discomfort when you bite and chew, or when you have a beverage or food item that is hot or cold in temperature.
If a cavity is left untreated for an extended period of time, it can lead to a root canal infection. This means that the pulp inside of your tooth becomes inflamed, and it results in extreme pain. If you do not have this treated in a timely manner, the infection can spread to other parts of your mouth and cause major health problems.
For minor cavities, a traditional dental filling is your best option. A regular filling will rebuild the damaged part of your tooth structure, allowing you to bite and chew normally. It will also prevent the further development and spread of tooth decay on the treated tooth.
Dental fillings come in tooth-colored and metal forms. Typically a tooth-colored filling is used on front teeth or more prominent teeth, with metal fillings used on molars and pre-molars. This can vary from patient to patient, of course.
When a normal dental filling is not enough to address a cavity on its own, that's where inlays and onlays come into play. These types of restorations are similar to dental fillings but they are larger, able to restore the cusps (biting surfaces) of the teeth.
Like dental fillings, inlays and onlays are available in tooth-colored and metal forms. The ideal type of inlay or onlay to use will depend on the tooth to be treated and the needs of the patient.
When a tooth is seriously decayed and cannot be fixed with just an inlay or an onlay, the last resort to restore the tooth is a dental crown. Dental crowns are caps that fit over a tooth, protecting it from pressure, and preventing the further spread of tooth decay. With a crown in place, you can bite and chew without discomfort.
As with the previous two restorations discussed, there are tooth-colored and metal crowns available. The ideal option will depend on the needs of the patient.
There are some cases in which a tooth is so decayed and damaged that a dental restoration will not be feasible, even a crown. In these cases, it may be best to extract the decayed tooth. If you do need the tooth removed, there are different treatments available to replace the missing tooth, from a dental bridge to an implant-supported dental crown.
For more information about treating cavities and helping you have the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. The team at Windsor Dental Group will work with you to treat and prevent tooth decay.
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