Restore Your Smile with These Top Treatments for Tooth Decay By Craig Goldin DDS on December 11, 2014

A woman with healthy, white teeth laughingUntreated tooth decay can lead to severe problems like pain, root canal infections, and even tooth loss. Fortunately, there are restorative dentistry treatments that can repair dental damage and restore your smile's appearance. To find out which treatment is right for you, schedule a consultation with one of our Troy dentists. In the meantime, read on to learn about the top treatments for tooth decay.

Tooth-colored Fillings

Dental fillings are one of the most common treatments for tooth decay. Traditionally, fillings have been made of silver amalgam, which many would argue is not optimal for treating decay. Silver fillings stand out in white teeth, can discolor the surrounding tooth, and can even cause fractures within treated teeth as a result of the metal expanding and contracting with temperature fluctuations. Tooth-colored fillings were developed as a result of the issues caused by metal fillings and are a superior treatment for dental decay.

Tooth-colored fillings are made of either porcelain or composite resin, both of which are custom-shaded to blend with the surrounding tooth. Neither material will discolor the surrounding tooth, as silver fillings are prone to do. In addition, these tooth-colored materials will not expand or contract with temperature changes. Tooth-colored fillings are a great option for restoring dental health and appearance.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are similar to dental fillings and are available in tooth-colored materials. Inlays and onlays are used to treat specific areas of dental decay. Inlays are used when decay is isolated within the cusps of the molars. Onlays are used when damage is more extensive, involving more than one cusp. Onlays are sometimes called partial crowns; they are used to treat large areas of dental damage, specifically damage that is too severe for fillings but not severe enough for a dental crown. Like tooth-colored fillings, inlays and onlays are custom-made for a seamless match.

Porcelain Veneers and Dental Bonding

Decay on front facing teeth is generally very noticeable and can be quite embarrassing. When front facing decay is mild, porcelain veneers or dental bonding make great treatment options. Both treatments are similar. Both porcelain veneers and dental bonding are custom crafted in shape, size, and color. Both can also be used to hide dental flaws and improve appearance. The difference is that porcelain veneers are tooth-shaped fabrications that fit over the front surface of damaged teeth, whereas dental bonding uses a putty-like resin directly applied and shaped on the tooth to correct damage and improve appearance. 

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are another popular treatment for tooth decay. Porcelain crowns are tooth-shaped caps that fit completely over a damaged tooth to restore structure and appearance. Dental crowns can be used to save severely decayed teeth from requiring extraction or protecting teeth with large fillings from fracture.

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Don't let tooth decay go untreated. To find out which treatment is right for you, we welcome you to schedule an appointment today!

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