All patients, no matter how vigilant they are with their oral hygiene habits, have bacteria in the mouth. The presence of bacteria alone is not a problem and poses no serious risk to a patient’s oral health, as long as the bacteria are kept under control. However, if oral hygiene habits are neglected, bacteria will multiply and plaque and tartar are likely to build up on the teeth. Plaque and tartar eat away at tooth enamel and cause the teeth to become damaged and weak. This condition is known as tooth decay, which requires restorative dentistry services to address damage and restore the strength and function of the tooth. While tooth decay can be treated, there is no “one size fits all” solution. That is why Dr. Jay L. Ajmo offers several tooth decay treatments at his Palm Beach Gardens practice, allowing him to meet the unique needs of his patients.
Dental fillings are considered the first line of defense against tooth decay. Dental fillings are a direct, non-invasive restoration that can restore the strength and health of the tooth without drastically altering its natural state. Dental fillings can seal off the tooth so that bacteria cannot get into the center of the tooth where a root canal infection may develop. If tooth decay is detected early on (as is often the case when patients maintain a regular schedule of routine dental exams and cleanings), then a dental filling should be an adequate treatment for stopping the progression of tooth decay and restoring the health of the tooth.
Tooth decay is a progressive condition so, without treatment, the problem will get worse rather than better. While a dental cavity is a term used to describe a small hole in the surface of the tooth’s enamel, sometimes decay progresses beyond this point. Rather than a hole in the enamel, patients may have damage on the biting surface of the tooth. In some cases, this decay extends to one or more of the tooth’s cusps (the small bumps on the biting surface). When tooth decay has progressed to this point, inlays and onlays are the best treatment option. Inlays and onlays offer more extensive treatment than dental fillings and preserve more of the natural tooth than dental crowns, so they are good middle ground restorative treatment options. Inlays and onlays are restorations that are fabricated in a lab and then bonded on the tooth to restore its structure.
Dental crowns are the best way to preserve natural tooth structure and avoid tooth loss when decay has become severe. During dental crown treatment, the tooth is completely reshaped to rid the tooth of any damaged enamel. A dental crown is then bonded to the tooth. A dental crown fits over the tooth, much like a cap, and completely surrounds the tooth to offer it strength and protection on all sides. Although a dental crown is a more aggressive treatment, it is a much better option than tooth loss or extraction and does preserve the tooth’s roots, as well as the inner nerves and pulp.
No matter what stage of decay a patient is experiencing, Dr. Jay L. Ajmo can restore the tooth, strengthen the smile, and improve oral health. If you would like to learn more about the restorative treatment options offered at Dr. Ajmo’s dental practice, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you.