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Preventing The Spread Of Tooth Decay

Are you staying on top of regular visits to your dentist for checkups and cleanings? If it has been a while since your last appointment, we suggest scheduling a visit twice per year. Routine examination allows us to inspect the health of your mouth and assist the oral hygiene practices you perform at home. Your scheduled cleanings provide the ability to remove plaque and tartar formations that cannot be treated with your standard brush or floss. If we discover the existing presence of tooth decay, we can provide a reliable treatment for your cavity and help prevent its spread. While some people may wait until they feel a toothache to plan an appointment, biannual cleanings help remove the bacteria that cause cavities before they form in the first place.

At your Ankeny, IA, dentist, we stress the importance of preventive care for maintaining your smile’s strength. When you visit our office on a regular basis, we both prevent decay and remove cavities before they become worse. If you require a restoration, modern materials allow your filling or crown to blend in with your smile’s natural appearance and return valuable support.

When Plaque Leads To Decay

Combining daily brushing and flossing habits with preventive checkups and cleanings helps you manage the deposits of oral bacteria that form plaque with debris from your diet. As bacteria feed, they produce an acidic byproduct that wears away at the strength of your tooth’s surface. This damage can eventually cause permanent holes otherwise known as cavities. As decay continues to spread, you risk further loss of healthy material as well as infection of your tooth’s pulp. This is because the opening in your enamel exposes the insides to your oral bacteria. To treat your cavity, your dentist can use special tools to remove the decaying tissue. This procedure leaves an opening in the tooth which must be corrected with a restoration to protect the inner structure and return a healthy appearance.

Restorations That Treat Cavities

Depending upon the shape, size, and location of your decay, your dentist will provide a restoration that best treats your tooth. Oftentimes, a dental filling serves this purpose by blending in with your natural tooth to look clean and support its surface. For decay that goes beyond the scope of a filling, a dental crown can recreate the shape of your tooth completely above the gumline. This restoration provides greater structural support and can handle the pressure of your bite when your natural material is too weak.

Talk To Your Ankeny, IA, Dentist About Treating And Preventing Tooth Decay

Remember that the best treatment for tooth decay is preventing it with regular dental cleanings and robust oral hygiene. But when you do develop a cavity, restorations such as fillings and crowns provide valuable relief. If you would like to find out more about our practice or have questions about other oral health concerns, please call your Ankeny, IA dentist’s office at (515) 965-0230 to schedule a visit.