You no doubt see your general dentist as someone who can help you maintain good oral health. This professional will diagnose various conditions and treat them when they occur. You can also learn prevention techniques from your dentist. Tooth decay is one of the most frequent issues that a dentist handles. Sometimes, it can be so severe that the health of the tooth is threatened. Various treatments are available to save it, but sometimes pulling it may be the right approach.
Keeping teeth healthy and strong
Though tooth decay is common, it is a preventable condition. A commitment to good oral hygiene practices is a good way to keep cavities at bay. Brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste will minimize a person’s chances of getting cavities. Flossing daily is also critical in keeping plaque and tartar buildup away. Also, patients should visit their general dentist at least every six months.
Treatments to save a damaged or decayed tooth
Severe tooth decay can eat away at the enamel layer and eventually introduce infection. Physical damage to a tooth also requires treatment from a general dentist, who can decide whether to pull the tooth or save it. For decay, a root canal may be necessary. This process removes the decay and infection and then seals the tooth to prevent further issues. For damage, the dentist may choose to place a crown over the tooth or attach a veneer to the surface.
Pulling the tooth: not strong enough to save
The general dentist will carefully examine the tooth to determine the right treatment. If the tooth has several cracks or fractures, it may not be salvageable. Also, if the dentist decides it is too weak to keep in the mouth, pulling it may make more sense. Also, if the damage is below the gumline, the dentist may choose to pull it.
Pulling the tooth: it is a baby tooth
If a young patient has profound tooth decay or has broken a tooth, the general dentist may extract it. The dentist will discuss other options with the parents. The dentist will take X-rays to see how the permanent tooth is developing. If it will erupt soon and come in straight, pulling the baby tooth may be the right course.
Deciding to save the tooth
There are benefits to a general dentist saving the tooth. Doing this may stop adjacent teeth from drifting and becoming loose, which can happen after an extraction. If the dentist believes a crown, veneer, or filling will be effective, this will be the approach the dentist prefers. The dentist will also consider the cosmetic effects of saving the tooth and how that might affect the person’s self-esteem.
Let your general dentist treat you
If you have a badly damaged or decayed tooth, you have important decisions to make. You can have the dentist pull it out or save it with one of a few different restoration methods. Your dentist has the knowledge and training to do what is right for your health. Listen to the recommendation your dentist gives.
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