Diagnosis and treatment of dental caries

Caries is a process. In its early stages, tooth decay can be stopped. It can even be reversed. Once caries gets worse and there is a break in the enamel, only the dentist can repair the tooth. Professionally, there are four main ways to deal with dental caries. These treatments carried out by a dental professional can help treat damage incurred from dental caries.

Fillings: Fillings are the most common form of treatment for the disease. A dental professional drills into the affected areas of the teeth, removes the decayed material inside the prepared cavity, and packs this empty space with an appropriate dental filling material. There are different types of filling materials that can be used, depending on the area where caries has occurred.

Crowns: Crowns are another option for dental professionals when treating dental caries, and are only used when a large proportion of the tooth is destroyed by disease. When tooth decay leads to the need for large fillings, the tooth becomes more prone to cracks and ultimately breaking. The dentist would attempt to salvage the remaining tooth, repair it, and finally fit the tooth with an alloy or porcelain crown covering.

Root Canal: Another method of treatment, a dental professional may employ is called a root canal. As tooth decay progresses through the enamel and settles in the center of the tooth, it may even advance further and damage the nerves, which are in the root. A dentist would remove the damaged or dead nerve with the surrounding blood vessel tissue (pulp) and fill the area.

Extraction: In some cases, the tooth may be damaged beyond repair and must be extracted if there is risk of infection spreading to the jaw bone.