It is not uncommon to experience dental anxiety, especially if your teeth are hurting. But sometimes, people can get stuck in an anxious thought pattern that it is too late to fix their teeth. That kind of thinking can prevent an individual from seeking the dental help they need.
In reality, it is never too late to fix bad teeth, though in some cases, the fix is the extraction of a dead tooth. However, with the help of your skilled Billings, MT dentist, your teeth can be properly taken care of, and you can start enjoying your smile again.
Most Teeth Can Be Corrected
Dental pain can be acutely painful, and when you experience ongoing dental pain, you may believe that your tooth is beyond saving. But you will never be sure until you visit the dentist.
We have had many patients come in who were sure that they needed root canals, extractions, or had formed abscesses. While sometimes their tooth decay was advanced enough to be a serious problem, a simple cavity can be surprisingly painful. So, it is important not to wait until you can’t stand the pain and discomfort and have treated sooner rather than later.
Ways To Address Levels Of Tooth Decay
While the phrase “bad teeth’ may apply to simply crooked teeth, often it refers to teeth that are suffering from some stage of tooth decay. Depending on your stage of tooth decay, there are different dental services available to address the issue and fix your teeth.
1. White Spots On Teeth
An early sign of tooth decay is the formation of chalky, white areas forming on your teeth, commonly along the gumline. This white area forms due to mineral loss and a build-up of dental plaque.
In this early stage, you might not need a filling to address the start of your tooth decay. Our dentist may be able to provide you with a strong fluoride treatment, fluoride toothpaste, and advice on how to properly care for your teeth so that the decay can be stopped and potentially reversed.
2. Decay Of Tooth Enamel
In the second stage of tooth decay, the enamel is impacted and starts to break down. Sometimes, this enamel breakdown isn’t immediately visible. Instead, the enamel just below the visible surface can start to fracture. At this point, if enough pressure is applied, your tooth may crack and break.
Once tooth decay has breached the enamel of your teeth, the decay needs to be addressed by our dentist, especially if you want to prevent breakage. At this stage, usually removing the decay and putting in a dental filling is enough to prevent further issues.
3. Decay Reaches Dentin
Dentin is the tooth material that is directly under the enamel. This softer layer is the last level of protection for the pulp of your teeth. Once tooth decay has reached the dentin, you can start to have sharp tooth pain.
The longer the tooth decay is left untreated, the wider of an area can be affected, which can require a large filling or potentially a dental crown to repair the tooth.
4. Tooth Pulp Infected
At the center of your tooth, the pulp is the area of your tooth where nerves, blood vessels, connective tissue, and the cells that continue to produce dentin are located. When infection from tooth decay reaches this stage of your tooth, it can be very painful and dangerous for your tooth.
To save your tooth once an infection has reached the pulp, a root canal is needed to remove all the infected material. After the root canal is completed, a crown is needed to protect the tooth, as a lot of material will be removed.
5. Abscess Forms
If an infected tooth pulp is left untreated, an abscess can form, which is a pocket of infected material and pus. This stage is incredibly painful, and an untreated abscess can impact the rest of your oral health, spreading the infection.
Potentially, oral surgery may be needed to clean out all the infection and to drain the abscess, as well as a root canal and dental crown to save the tooth.
6. Tooth Loss
Finally, tooth decay can reach a stage where the tooth dies and either falls out—as the connective tissue dies—or is extracted by a dentist to prevent further pain and discomfort.
Dental Solutions After Tooth Loss
While it is best to catch dental issues before they progress to the point of tooth loss, your smile can still be rescued even after tooth loss.
Dr. Taylor is an excellent dentist with a specialty in cosmetic dentistry. As you can see in our Smile Gallery, he has performed a wide range of dental restorations, from correcting damaged teeth to replacing missing teeth. With his experience, you have an array of dental solutions after losing a tooth.
- Dental implant – Incredibly sturdy, a dental implant will look just like your natural teeth and be implanted into your jawbone to ensure stability.
- Dental bridge – Particularly helpful if you are missing multiple teeth, a dental bridge can be placed in different ways to help fill in the gap in your smile.
- Dentures – To fill in for large sections of missing teeth—or if all are missing—dentures are an excellent solution. There are several styles of dentures, and our dentist can help you find the right configuration for your needs.
To consult with our dentist on your dental health, it all starts with contacting us to schedule a dental cleaning. So, start the process toward a healthier, happier smile and set up your appointment today!