Our life is full of demands on our time, so if your tooth gets damaged, you might be tempted to put off repairs. But don’t succumb to that temptation — your reconstructive dentistry options depend on quick action. The longer you wait, the fewer your options, and the more expensive those options are going to be.
Act Now for Dental Bonding and Veneers
If you have a minor chipped tooth, you might think that it’s something you can put off. It doesn’t hurt, and it’s hardly even noticeable. But if you don’t act now, you’ll lose some of your options to deal with the situation.
Dental bonding is a great quick response for minor chips, but it’s not very strong, so it can only be used when the chip is minor. If the damage gets worse, then dental bonding might not be an option.
Porcelain veneers are much stronger and can be used to build up teeth that have lost a fairly large chip. But they do require a sound tooth to build on. When your tooth is chipped, it’s vulnerable to more damage. The exposed surface can collect food and allow bacteria to collect, which can lead to decay. A fractured surface may also lead to forces on the tooth that can make it more likely to crack.
If a crack undermines the structure of the tooth, then veneers are no longer an option and we have to use dental crowns. If the crack penetrates into the interior of the tooth, root canal therapy might be recommended as well.
Building Bridges to the Future
A dental bridge can be a great way to replace a lost tooth. They are permanently fixed in your mouth, and they look and function just like a natural tooth. No removable denture to give away that you’ve lost a tooth–you can smile with confidence and eat a healthy diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats.
But dental bridges depend on quick action, too. The dental bridge has to be supported by teeth on either side. Once you’ve lost a tooth, those neighboring teeth are vulnerable, and they can experience damage that will make them unsound support for a dental bridge. Then you’ll need a dental implant or partial denture to replace the lost tooth.
Your teeth can also start to drift around the missing tooth, so that whether we want to use a bridge or a dental implant, we might have to use orthodontics to make space for your replacement tooth.
Cavities Lead to Root Canal Therapy
A minor cavity might not seem like a big deal. It took a long time for the cavity to form, so you might think it will take a long time to grow.
Sometimes cavities do grow slowly, but they can also experience an exponential growth cycle. Once a cavity develops, it can trap food and harbor bacteria. The sheltered bacteria with a copious food supply can secrete more acid, causing the cavity to grow faster, allowing more bacteria and food to become trapped.
Once the cavity penetrates to the interior of the tooth, the pulp chamber, the infection is serious and can grow very quickly. Root canal therapy is required, where quick action would only have needed a minor filling.
Sometimes Root Canal Therapy Isn’t Enough
If you act once your tooth becomes infected, it’s very likely that a root canal treatment can restore your tooth’s beauty and function. That treated tooth can last for ten or twenty years. But if you don’t act quickly, your tooth can be damaged so badly that even root canal therapy won’t save it.
Just like oral bacteria damage the outside of your tooth with their acid, they also damage the inside, with a combination of acid attack and excess pressure from the teeming masses of bacteria (this pressure is the main cause of the pain you might feel). The tooth is weakened and more likely to crack. If that crack goes down into the root, the tooth can no longer be saved.
Bacteria might also sometimes attack the root of the tooth. The root material, cementum, is more vulnerable to decay, and once it’s damaged, the tooth can’t be saved.
Left untreated, bacteria in an infected tooth can penetrate through the root of the tooth and attack the bone around the tooth. Then it’s not only impossible to save the tooth, a dental implant might be dubious as well.
Act Now to Keep Your Options Open and Your Costs Down
We understand that it can be hard to fit reconstructive dentistry into your budget, but it might be an easier fit now than later. And with the dental financing options we offer, you might be surprised how affordable your treatment can be.