Tooth Decay Treatment
Your treatment will match the extent of the decay. If your dentist catches the problem early – a small area of enamel erosion before it reaches the dentin, he or she may recommend a repair treatment – maybe even at home. Mouthrinses, toothpaste, or filling materials that contain fluoride, calcium, and phosphates may be your solution. These would be thought of as early decay cavity prevention treatments.
If you've developed a small cavity, it can be repaired with an amalgam filling (made of silver and other metals) or tooth-colored resin. If the cavity is large and your tooth has lost structure, your dentist may decide you need a crown. Crowns are more expensive than fillings, but they strengthen your tooth and restore shape and function.
If your tooth is abscessed, your dentist will refer you to an endodontist for a root canal. Here’s information from the ADA on what you can expect. With root canal treatment, teeth can become more brittle and break easily. If you lost a lot of tooth structure due to decay, your dentist might also recommend a crown after the root canal treatment.
If your tooth cannot be saved with a root canal, your dentist will need to extract it.
Listen to your dentist. Catching and treating decay today will keep you out of the endodontist’s chair tomorrow. Regular dental appointments and good oral hygiene care at home, including brushing and flossing between your teeth, may keep you smiling and cavity-free even longer.