Treatment Options for Tooth Decay
When patients meet with Dr. Victor R. Siegel at his Rockville practice, they can expect expert dental care. He offers the latest in general dentistry procedures focused on restoring dental health and smile aesthetics. This includes advanced treatment options for cavities and severe tooth decay.
About Tooth Decay
Tooth decay refers to the gradual loss of tooth structure as a result of oral bacteria eating into the enamel and dentin layers of a tooth. There are many degrees of tooth decay that can occur, from small cavities to major structural damage to the entire tooth. It's ideal for the tooth decay to be treated as soon as possible for optimal dental health and wellness to be maintained.
Dental restorations are placed in order to rebuild the damaged tooth structure. The sizes of these restorations vary, but the aim is the same: rebuild the tooth structure so patients can bite and chew as they normally would.
Dental Fillings to Treat Tooth Decay
Dental fillings are ideal for small cavities and minor cases of tooth decay. Many people receive dental fillings at some point in their lives. These days, metal fillings and tooth-colored fillings are available, with the latter being a much more aesthetically pleasing choice for patients.
Inlays and Onlays to Treat Tooth Decay
When a dental filling is not enough to restore a tooth, that's when an inlay or onlay may be used. Inlays and onlays can restore a larger portion of a tooth's structure than a dental filling, including the cusps (biting surfaces) of a tooth. Inlays and onlays come in ceramic and metal forms to address patient needs. Metal restorations are more likely for the molars while tooth-colored restorations are more likely for the more prominent teeth.
Dental Crowns to Treat Tooth Decay
When a tooth has been significantly damaged or decayed, the best option to save the tooth is a dental crown. The crown will cap the damaged portions of a tooth's structure, protecting the remaining tooth structure and restoring the ability to bite and chew as normal. As with the above, there are tooth-colored and metal crowns available, with the tooth-colored crowns more likely for the front teeth and the metal crowns more ideal for the molars.
Which type of dental restoration is best for me?
The ideal dental restoration for you and your needs will depend on the extent of tooth decay or tooth damage that you have experienced. Ideally, dentists will want to work conservatively and preserve as much tooth structure as possible. During the consultation process, the ideal dental restoration for you and your needs can be discussed in greater detail.
Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay
In order to prevent tooth decay, consider these simple tips:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Floss your teeth at least once every night
- Drink water to stay hydrated and remove food particles between your teeth
- Visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups
Learn More About Treating and Preventing Tooth Decay
For more information about treating tooth decay and how it can be prevented, we encourage you to contact our advanced cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Siegel and the entire team at the practice looks forward to your visit and helping you have the healthiest smile possible.