Tooth decay


- The question about dental pain and sensitivity

- Examine your mouth and teeth

- Check your teeth with dental tools to check for soft areas

- See dental X-rays, which may show the extent of tooth decay and wear


Treatment options include:

Padding: Fillings, also called dental restorations, are the main treatment option when decay has deteriorated beyond the first stage. Fillings are made of different materials, such as composite and tooth-colored resins, porcelain or dental amalgam which are a mixture of several materials.

Dental crowns: For severe decay or weak teeth, you may need a crown - a specially built-in cap that replaces the tooth's natural crown. Your dentist removes all of the decayed area far enough from the rest of the tooth to ensure a good fit. Crowns may be made of gold, high-strength porcelain, resin, porcelain fused to a metal, or other materials.

Root canals: When decay reaches the inner material of your tooth (the pulp), you may need a root canal. This is a treatment to repair and save a severely damaged or infected tooth, rather than removing it. The affected tooth pulp is removed. Sometimes medication is placed inside the root canal to treat any infection. Then the pulp is replaced by the filling.

Tooth extraction: Sometimes some teeth become too puckered off and must be removed. A tooth extraction can create a gap that allows your other teeth to deflect. If possible, you may consider getting a bridge or dental implants to replace a tooth that has been lost.