Dental Filling Now Or A Root Canal LaterMonday, August 15th, 2016
As a general dentist office, we deal with tooth decay practically every day in one way or another.
Our hope is to prevent cavities from forming as much as we can. This depends on what you do at home (brushing and flossing your teeth) and how consistent you are about visiting our dentist office for cleanings.
If you live in or near Danville, IL, we would encourage you to visit Advanced Smile Arts a couple times each year. Part of your check-up will include an examination of your mouth and teeth. If we see signs of tooth decay, we want to act fast so it doesn’t become a bigger issue for you.
Restorative dentistry is an important part of our practice, and the most basic example of this is a dental filling.
Fillings have two primary functions. First, they restore the shape of your tooth so it can be used to bite and chew your food. Second, fillings seal the hole created by the tooth decay. This is done to reduce the risk of another cavity forming in that same location.
If you come to Advanced Smile Arts for your filling, you get the added bonus of receiving a tooth-colored filling. This kind of filling fulfills the functions mentioned above, but it also restores the appearance of your tooth.
Our composite resin fillings fix your cavity without distracting from your smile.
If you prefer, we do offer amalgam fillings. These have a more metallic appearance, but we can discuss your options if that need should arise.
By acting quickly to deal with your tooth decay, you can save yourself time, expense, and pain, as we will explain below.
Salvaging Your Tooth
If a dental filling is the first response to a cavity, then a root canal treatment is the rescue squad.
How does tooth decay go from needing a filling to needing a root canal? Let us explain.
Bacteria live inside your mouth. Some of these are helpful, while others cause tooth decay. Those harmful bacteria use the sugars in the foods that you eat to form plaque, a sticky film.
This stickiness keeps the bacteria close to your teeth. The longer they are there, the more likely they will start to eat into your enamel (the outer layer of your tooth).
The first step is making a hole in your tooth. This is a cavity. If you ignore it or you don’t realize it’s there, then the bacteria will continue to eat into your tooth. If they get through the enamel, they will eventually reach the softer dentin underneath.
At this point, you may notice some increased tooth sensitivity. For the sake of discussion, let’s assume that still isn’t enough to get you to call the dentist.
If the bacteria eats through the dentin, it will reach the pulp chamber. This space contains a soft connective tissue called pulp, blood vessels, and nerves. When bacteria infects your pulp, then that tissue can become inflamed. This can cause a toothache, swelling, and other problems.
If you haven’t called the dentist by now, this is often what prompts you to make an appointment.
At this point, the only way to save your tooth may be a root canal treatment. This will involve removing the infected tissue, the blood vessels, and nerves. Then, our dentist will clean and sanitize the inside of your tooth, fill it with a special material to reduce the risk of another infection, and seal the tooth to restore its shape and function.
Sedation Can Help
We know that dental anxiety is one of the reasons people put off making an appointment when a cavity first appears.
You may be worried that the procedure will hurt or that you won’t be able to remain calm during your treatment. Dental sedation can make this easier for you.
We offer both nitrous oxide and oral sedation in our practice. We can discuss the differences between them if you want to know more. For now, keep in mind that sedation dentistry will help you stay relaxed and that it will prevent you from feeling any pain during your treatment.
Act Now To Stop Tooth Decay As Soon As You Can
Brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly often can prevent cavities from forming. Short of that, routine visits can identify tooth decay before it becomes a major problem.
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