Featured Image Caption: Types of Dental Treatment
Severe tooth damage can happen in the blink of an eye, and oral health issues must be taken care of as quickly as possible. When left untreated, a damaged tooth could result in ongoing infections, periodontitis, and a wide variety of other problems. The longer you wait for treatment, the more severe your case may become. Just as there are a variety of types of damage that your tooth can take on, there are a variety of types of treatments for it. Here are just a few to discuss with your dentist should you incur dental damage in the future.
Bonding isn’t an ideal option for all types of damage, but it can be very useful in certain situations. During that procedure, a dentist is going to carefully cover up the damage with resin that can quickly be hardened with a curing light. That resin can protect the tooth from further damage, and it will blend in with the surrounding natural tooth. Bonding is typically used for smaller chips, cracks, and cavities. Of course, while this treatment is effective for smaller damage, there are other options more suitable for more extreme chipping and broken teeth. However, it is very effective in preventing a small chip or crack from growing into something more serious.
If the damage is somewhat extensive, then the tooth might be covered with a veneer. Those devices are nothing more than thin strips of porcelain that are fixed to teeth with a powerful bonding agent. Once in place, the veneers are going to look just like the patient’s natural teeth, and they can last for years with the proper care. These are more effective than bonding for larger-scale damage to your tooth. The biggest drawback of veneers, however, is the fact that part of the natural tooth must be removed before they can be attached. Veneers, therefore, should be reserved for larger-scale damage where the tooth itself can still be preserved.
These devices are very similar to veneers, but they cover the entirety of each tooth instead of just the front. Much like a veneer, part of the tooth must be shaved down before the crown is attached with the bonding agent. Once in place, the crown is going to protect the tooth from further damage and is typically applied to molars. On average, modern crowns typically last for 10 years, but they can last longer with the proper care. They are also very easy to keep clean, and you won’t need to do anything more than brush, floss, and use mouthwash every day, in addition to the regular dental checkups and cleanings.
For major damage, a tooth might need to be extracted entirely and replaced with a dental implant. Once those devices are in place, they look and feel just like natural teeth, and they can last a lifetime as long as they are taken care of. Dental implants have become very popular in recent years, and they might be an ideal option if you have damaged one or more teeth. This is typically the best solution for when the natural tooth itself is dead or otherwise cannot be saved without costly and repeated intervention. This also can improve the quality of life for those with damaged teeth that are alive but overly sensitive despite treatments and unable to perform their necessary functions in breaking down hard foods.
Even if your tooth damage doesn’t seem to be severe, you should still seek out a dentist right away. Over time, seemingly minor oral health problems can escalate into serious medical issues that bring your life to a grinding halt.
By Meghan Belnap
who is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family and residing in Oklahoma.