How Your Dentist Treats Tooth Decay

Are you suffering from tooth decay, commonly known as cavities? If so, know that there are a few ways that your dentist can treat the problem. Here is what you need to know when you're suffering from tooth decay.

Determine The Extent Of The Damage

The first thing your dentist will do is determine how much decay is in your tooth. The purpose is to figure out how large of a cavity you have, since teeth that have a small percentage of tooth decay can be fixed by removing the decay and putting a dental filling in its place.

Unfortunately, if the vast majority of the tooth has decayed and there will not be much tooth remaining after the decay is removed, then the dentist may recommend extracting the tooth. The dentist will need some kind of healthy surface of the teeth to fix it, which includes putting a crown on the tooth for added strength. As the tooth as more decay, fixing the tooth successfully become less predictable and there is a bigger chance of something going wrong.

Determine The Severity Of The Damage

The next step will be to determine how serious the decay is in terms of how close it is to the nerve of the tooth. When you have decay that is near the nerve, there will be more symptoms that the tooth experiences. This includes sensitivity to hot and cold foods, throbbing, and biting sensitivity.

The severity of the damage changes how a dentist tries to fix the tooth. While a small cavity may have only required a simple filling, severe damage can require a root canal.

Determine The Type Of Filling

If the decay is not large and the damage is not severe, your dentist will move forward with removing the decay and filling it with a cavity. The most affordable choice will be amalgam, which is a mixture of various metals, such as silver, copper, and zinc. You can also have a filling placed in the tooth that will match the existing color of the tooth. This is great for front teeth that have cavities that are visible to others. For molars, nobody may even be able to tell if you have a metal filling.

These are just a few common filling materials that could be used. Be sure to ask your dentist for more information to determine which filling material will be best for you.