It happens on occasion. You show up for a routine dental check-up and you leave with a treatment
What’s the deal?
It’s a fair question, especially since you’ve not felt any tooth or mouth pain prior to your appointment.
By the time you feel tooth pain…
Decay is almost always advanced by the time you’re feeling pain. And the progression of decay is a
significant threat to your oral health.
- Tooth decay damages your tooth structure
- Tooth decay can lead to the need for root canal therapy
- Tooth decay as it progresses can produce the need for more costly treatment
Cavities – you’ve heard about those, right? A dental cavity begins with plaque build-up on your teeth.
Plaque is a sticky substance that gives bacteria a place to attach. Tooth damage will happen if
plaque isn’t removed.
Initial damage starts with a small cavity that erodes the outer layer of your tooth enamel. Treatment
with a filling, for example, is simple and inexpensive at this point.
Ignore treatment and decay could penetrate deep into your tooth. That’s when you’ll often feel pain
because the decay has reached the nerve.
Then not only has your tooth structure experienced significant damage but you could require more
extensive treatment such as a root canal and/or a dental crown. These can increase your treatment
time and costs.
This is why it’s essential to have a routine examination and teeth cleaning. Removing harmful
plaque bacteria helps reduce the risk of decay and the need for more significant treatment.
So there are no surprises…
Here are a few treatments we might recommend even when your tooth isn’t hurting. And remember
each could help you avoid further tooth damage, disease, or additional (and more costly) treatment.
- Dental fillings – restore your tooth structure that’s been damaged by decay. Again, your decayed
tooth might not be causing you any discomfort. Tooth colored materials are used to fill the cavity and
eliminate the risk of future decay.
- Dental crown – covers a severely decayed tooth, a tooth that’s broken or fractured, or one that has a
damaged filling. Crown treatment can prevent decay from becoming painful when applied before it
extends into your nerve.
- Root canal therapy – can save your tooth even though tooth decay has penetrated into your nerve
that’s dead or dying. You might have a toothache but often you’ll not experience any pain. The
procedure helps prevent further infection and strengthens your tooth structure.
These treatments and more could be recommended. They help prevent oral health problems from
Contact our San Luis Obispo dental office with your questions about a specific dental treatment.
Schedule your next examination and teeth cleaning to stay ahead of any oral health issues.