Tooth decay is the permanent destruction of the tooth, and this condition often results in discoloration and fracture of the infected tooth. Over the many stages of tooth decay, pits and holes are also formed due to the collective effect of sugar, saliva, and bacteria in the mouth. It can be healed through one of the many tooth decay treatment options, depending on the extent of the decay.
It is important to take up treatment measures as soon as the primary tooth decay symptoms have been noted.
The Six Main Tooth Decay Treatment Measures
Fluoride (a form of Fluorine) is a mineral that helps the teeth repair themselves at the earliest stage of decay. If your cavity is just getting started, fluoride treatment can help restore the enamel (the outermost protective layer of the tooth).
Fluorides are present in tooth pastes, mouth rinses, and in some instances, fluoride is added to community water supplies.
However, professional fluoride treatments contain more fluoride than the amount found in toothpastes and mouth rinses. Fluoride treatment is normally carried out through a liquid solution, gel, foam, or varnish that’s brushed onto the teeth or placed in a small tray that fits over the teeth. This tooth decay treatment measure takes just a few minutes, and dentists often suggest undergoing periodic fluoride treatments.
Dental sealants are thin protective coatings that can seal the decay. They can be used only during the initial stages, when the enamel has not been broken down.
Under this tooth decay treatment option, your dentist will apply the sealant to the chewing surfaces of the molars.
This coating prevents the accumulation of plaque (thin naturally forming film of mucus and bacteria) on these vulnerable surfaces.
Fillings, also called restorations, are the main treatment option when the decay has progressed beyond the enamel layer.
While filling, your dentist will drill away the decayed part of your tooth, clean it up, and then fill the gap to restore your tooth’s shape.
Fillings are made of various materials, including tooth-colored composite resins and silver amalgam.
A crown is a covering that replaces your tooth’s form, size, and shape. If you have extensively decayed or weakened teeth, you may need a crown (cap) rather than a filling, when you opt for tooth decay treatment.
Crowns are made of gold, porcelain, or porcelain that’s fused to metal. Your dentist will drill and remove the decayed area and part of your tooth to ensure that the crown fits just right.
Root Canal Treatment (RCT)
When the decay is extensive and reaches the inner material of your tooth (pulp) where the nerves are present, you’ll need a Root Canal Treatment (RCT).
In this tooth decay treatment procedure, the tooth pulp is removed and replaced with a filling. This is a minor procedure that is carried out under the influence of an anesthetic.
In cases where the decay is very severe, so much so that not even root canal treatment can save it, your dentist will advise you to remove the entire tooth through extraction.
This is not a painful procedure, as recent developments in the dental field have made the procedure effortless and simple.
How Do You Know If You Need Tooth Decay Treatment?
You may not be aware that a cavity is forming, so paying your dentist a regular visit is the best way to spot cavities and dental decay.
If the cavity is treated before it starts causing pain, you probably won’t need extensive treatment. It’s important to undergo regular dental checkups and cleanings even when your teeth feel fine, as your dentist will constantly keep you updated on the causes of tooth decay and how you can avoid them. By the time you notice the symptoms, it may be too late to save your tooth through tooth decay treatment measures.