During a routine checkup, your dentist can detect signs of cavity development before you notice symptoms. When a cavity is caught and treated early, it can be remedied with relative ease. However, if you think you have a problem with a tooth, and postpone talking to your dentist, that cavity can worsen, and treatment can become considerably more involved. It is important to speak to your dentist about potential tooth decay as soon as possible, as delayed treatment can mean losing more of the affected tooth.
Root Canal Therapy
When a cavity has caused tooth decay that reaches the pulp, your dentist will need to remove material from the center of your tooth. Root canal therapy is a process where your dentist excises infected material from a tooth, including material within the pulp. An infection that has reached the nerve tissue in your pulp can cause considerable pain, and can risk permanently destroying the tooth.
A tooth that has undergone root canal therapy will often be fitted with a dental crown. A dental crown covers a tooth that is no longer strong enough to operate unassisted, and/or is vulnerable to further damage. After a root canal therapy, your dentist has typically removed too much of your tooth for it to be sufficiently supported by a filling.
A cavity that has reached a tooth’s pulp can cause irreparable damage. If this occurs, your dentist will need to extract the dead tooth. Because a missing tooth can cause difficulty in biting and chewing, and can leave surrounding teeth vulnerable, your dentist can provide a replacement for an extracted tooth, like a dental bridge.