Regular dental checkups are the best defense against cavities, especially when combined with good daily oral care—brushing your pearly whites at least twice every day, and flossing at least once daily. Dental checkups every six months allow us to check for tooth decay, gum disease, and old fillings to make sure they are not cracked or leaking and causing further decay.
The best part about dental checkups is that they allow us to diagnose and treat problems early, when there are no symptoms to alert you, the patient, that something is off. For example, if you are not experiencing pain you may not be aware that tooth decay is happening. To restore your healthy smile, there are various ways we can treat cavities. So let’s take a look!
If we notice erosion on your tooth enamel, we may be able to reverse that by applying a fluoride treatment. It only takes a few minutes, and is much more effective at protecting enamel than just drinking tap water with fluoride or using fluoride mouthwash or toothpaste.
The next step in repairing tooth decay is dental restorations, or dental fillings. While restorative fillings may be made from composite resin, porcelain or amalgam fillings, at Turlock Dental Care we are pleased to offer composite fillings for our patients.
Now, if tooth decay has weakened the tooth structure, we may need to remove all decay and then place a crown on the remaining tooth structure. We shape what is left of the tooth material to fit the crown, which may be made from porcelain, gold, or resin. Thanks to our E4D machine, we can place a crown within one day for you.
If the decay has already reached the center of the tooth, or tooth pulp which houses the nerves and blood vessels and other connective tissue, you may need a root canal to save your tooth. After numbing the area, we will remove the pulp and nerve, clean the tooth thoroughly, and fill it with a dental filling. Sometimes it is necessary to place a crown over your tooth.
Pulling the Tooth
If the decay is too advanced and the tooth is damaged beyond repair, you may need to have the tooth removed. If that happens it will leave behind a gap where the tooth originally sat, so the surrounding teeth can end up shifting and affecting your bite. In this case we will recommend a bridge or dental implant to prevent tooth movement.
There are ways to repair cavities to restore your healthy smile, and early treatment is most easily treated. Regular dental checkups are an excellent way to spot dental issues early! To schedule your next visit with our skilled dentist, Dr. Robert A. McCulla, please call our Turlock Dental Care team in Turlock, California at 209-667-7889 today!