When a tooth contains a lot of decay, you will have the opportunity to save the tooth by visiting a dentist. Unfortunately, though, your dentist may tell you that a dental filling will not be sufficient for fixing and saving the tooth. Instead of using a filling, the dentist might recommend using a dental crown. If you are in this situation and not sure if you really want to go this route, there are three important things you should know.
Fillings Weaken Teeth
Dental fillings, in general, can be very helpful for teeth that have small cavities. When a dentist locates a small cavity, he or she will remove the decay and fill the hole with material that will hold in place for many years. This is a great way to handle small cavities; however, each time a dental filling is placed in a tooth, it will weaken the tooth. In addition, a dentist typically must remove a small part of the healthy part of the tooth in order to make the filling stick and hold in place.
If you have a cavity in a tooth that already contains fillings, the tooth is probably already weak. By adding another filling, it will only weaken the tooth more. This is why your dentist may tell you that a filling will not be a suitable treatment option for a tooth with a lot of decay, or for a tooth that has fillings in it already.
Teeth that are weak may be more prone to developing additional cavities, and they are more likely to crack or experience other types of problems. So, having a filling placed in this particular tooth may offer a short-term solution for the problem you are currently facing; however, it is not a good long-term solution for a tooth like this.
A Lot Of Decay May Involve Infected Roots
The second thing you should know is that a tooth full of decay may have another issue, which is an infection in the roots or canals of the tooth. Decay starts on the outer part of a tooth, but it does not remain there. If decay is not removed shortly after it appears, it will begin moving towards the inner part of the tooth. If it gets inside the tooth far enough, it can cause an infection to the roots of the tooth.
In some cases, people know if they have an infection in a tooth, and this is because of the pain they experience. If the decay is just starting to reach the roots, there may be no pain at first. The only way a dentist will know if this problem exists is by taking x-rays and examining the tooth.
If this dentist finds that the roots are probably infected, he or she will suggest getting a root canal procedure. This procedure cleans out the canals in the tooth and replaces the material with artificial filler. This will stop the nerve communications to and from the teeth, and it will help save a tooth.
Performing a root canal will require removing part of the tooth to gain access to the canals. When this occurs, it will weaken the tooth more, and your dentist is very likely to recommend a dental crown in this situation.
Dental Crowns Save And Protect Teeth
A dental crown will cost more than a traditional dental filling, but it is the better option in a situation like this. A dental crown is a solid piece of material that is cemented in place directly over a weak tooth. This will help you save your tooth, along with its roots, and it will offer a strong, durable tooth to use.
A dental crown will typically last for 5 to 15 years, but they can last even longer than this in many cases. With the crown, you will never have to worry about losing this tooth or getting another cavity on the tooth. It will be fully protected, and your new crown will look just like a regular tooth.
If you have any questions about dental fillings or crowns, you can contact a dental office like Bae & Bae Family Denistry to schedule an appointment to find out the answers you are looking for.