Most of us believe that we are fairly educated about tooth decay and its treatment options. Tooth decay is just like any other physical condition or illness. Rather than develop overnight, tooth decay slowly eats away at the teeth and continues to progress without treatment. What this means is that no case of tooth decay is alike. While a dental filling may be appropriate treatment for some cases of tooth decay, alternative treatments may be necessary for more advanced stages of tooth decay. That is why Philadelphia cosmetic dentist Bruce Wilderman looks at all cases of tooth decay on an individual basis and prescribes the most appropriate treatment for each case. Some common treatment options for tooth decay include:
- Dental fillings: The reason that so many of us are familiar with dental fillings is because it is one of the most common treatments for tooth decay. For patients who uphold a schedule of biannual dental exams and cleanings, it is likely that tooth decay will be detected in its earliest stages while it can still be successfully treated with a dental filling. A dental filling is applied and molded to the tooth after the tooth has been cleaned. Once it is hardened on the tooth, a dental filling aids in keeping harmful bacteria out of the tooth’s center.
- Inlays and onlays: Inlays and onlays are a dental treatment that may be less familiar to many patients. Inlays and onlays are larger than traditional fillings and are fabricated in a dental laboratory before being bonded to the tooth. For more advanced stages of tooth decay, inlays and onlays are a treatment option for those patients who require more than a dental filling but less than a dental crown.
- Dental crowns: Dental crowns are for more advanced stages of tooth decay. A dental crown allows Dr. Wilderman to save a tooth from extraction by removing harmful, decayed tooth enamel and enclosing the remaining tooth with a dental crown. Porcelain crowns add a layer of protection to a tooth that has been damaged by decay and restore the tooth to its natural strength and function.
- Root canal therapy: Root canal therapy becomes necessary when tooth decay progresses to an infection at the center of the tooth. Root canal therapy removes infection by cleaning out the pulp of the tooth and removing any harmful bacteria. Once Dr. Wilderman is confident that the infection is clear, the tooth will be protected by the application of a dental crown.
- Extraction: It is always Dr. Wilderman’s goal to save a damaged tooth. However, in extreme cases of tooth decay, the tooth may require extraction. In the event of tooth loss, Dr. Wilderman can replace the lost tooth with a dental crown, dental bridge, or dental implant.
Schedule an Appointment
The best way to avoid the need for invasive dental treatments is to diagnose and treat conditions such as tooth decay in their earliest stages. If you are looking for an experienced dentist who can be trusted to care for all your dental needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bruce Wilderman at your earliest convenience. We look forward to meeting you!