Tooth decay is one of the most common reasons that new patients seek out a dentist. When decay is present, cold, hot or sweet items typically tend to amplify tooth pain. However, due to one reason or another, dental treatment often gets pushed back or ignored until the pain and discomfort cannot be tolerated any more. Be it our busy schedules, fear of the dentist, or finances.
Tooth decay never goes away or improves on its own. When left alone it progresses deeper into teeth and can also spread into adjacent teeth. Similarly, baby teeth that have dental disease can spread the infection below to the developing permanent tooth. When dental decay or infections are left alone, it often leads to the tooth needing root canal therapy or extraction. Delaying treatment means that something that would have been a small one surface filling can quickly become a root canal and a crown. While antibiotic therapy can help resolve a subsequent infection, the condition continues to exist and teeth may re-abscess as long as decay is not removed from the tooth.
Some people don’t mind if they lose just one tooth. Yes, sometimes extractions are absolutely necessary, but when at all possible it is our goal to help you retain all of your natural teeth. Removing one tooth can affect the entire rest of the mouth as teeth shift to fill the now empty space.
Seeing your dentist regularly for preventative care appointments can help you catch dental decay earlier, and keep fillings smaller (and less expensive).