It’s always important that you visit with dental professionals regularly. When you visit Kansas City cosmetic dentist Dr. John P. Goodman twice a year, that means that any minor cavities and tooth decay can be dealt with as soon as they are spotted rather than being allowed to progress. In the long run, this will ensure that your teeth are healthy and sturdy well into the future.
Addressing Tooth Decay and Damage
While good dental hygiene on your part will help keep those cavities at bay (brush at least twice a day and floss every night), we understand that tooth decay can occur, which is why we offer many different options for dealing with tooth decay and tooth damage. We’d like to take a moment right now to look at several of these options so you understand how we can help you have a smile that’s healthy and looks great.
One of the most common treatments for tooth decay is one you’re probably quite familiar with: dental fillings. These are set into a tooth with a cavity in order to prevent the spread of tooth decay and to restore the structure and strength of the tooth.
Though metal fillings were the common treatment for cavities in the past, we use tooth-colored dental fillings here at our practice instead. This is because they are more aesthetically pleasing and safer than metal fillings. (Metal fillings sometimes contained mercury, could change in size in extreme temperatures, and required more tooth structure removal when prepping a tooth for its placement.)
Inlays and Onlays
For more substantial amounts of tooth decay, there are inlays and onlays. It may be easiest to think of inlays and onlays as larger kinds of dental fillings. In essence, that’s what they are. These dental restorations will be used to restore the biting surfaces of teeth and large sections of tooth structure.
When a tooth has been seriously decayed or damaged, then it’s important to consider the use of dental crowns. Dental crowns are caps that are placed atop a damaged tooth. The purpose the crown will serve is manifold: the dental crown will protect the tooth from further damage, reduce pain or sensitivity caused by the tooth, and provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance to the tooth.
If the damage to the tooth is not tooth decay per se but a little bit of tooth damage such as a slight chip or crack, then porcelain veneers may be a good treatment option. The porcelain veneer is a thin ceramic shell that is affixed to the front of the tooth to mask flaws. Porcelain veneers are also great for dealing with major stains and minor tooth misalignment.
Sometimes a tooth is so damaged or decayed it may need to be extracted and replaced. In such cases, it may be helpful for a patient to get Kansas City dental implants placed. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is used to hold a dental restoration in place. This means it can hold a single replacement tooth (a dental crown), a dental bridges, or dentures.
Learn More About Your Dental Care Options
For more information about your many different options for excellent dental treatment, contact our Kansas City cosmetic dentistry practice today.