The first key to a healthy, bright smile is preventing dental issues from arising in the first place.
Cavities are holes, or structural damage, in the teeth. They cause visible pits or holes and can lead to toothache, particularly after sweets, or hot or cold foods and drinks. Identification and treatment can help prevent tooth damage from leading to cavities, but after they are present treatments may involve fillings, crowns or root canals.
For damage that is not significant, yet, the treatment can be a simple filling, done by removing the decay itself and then filling the hole or pit with silver alloy, gold, porcelain or composite resin.
Crowns, or “caps,” are used if tooth decay is extensive and there is limited tooth structure, which may cause weakened teeth. Large fillings and weak teeth increase the risk of the tooth breaking. The decayed or weakened area is removed and repaired. A crown is fitted over the remainder of the tooth. Crowns are often made of gold, porcelain, or porcelain attached to metal. Treatment can often save the tooth, and identifying any issues early is less painful and less expensive.
Root canals are usually done when the damage has progressed to a point where a crown would not be appropriate due to the structural condition of the tooth, or where the root itself is dying or has already died.