Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) is the most prevalent multi-factorial disease in children and adults. Childhood tooth decay may have a serious impact on adult teeth. However, there is good news; early detection and treatment of initial caries lesions prevents further disease progression. Preventative treatments include fluoride treatment, salivary assessment, dietary advice and regular hygiene treatment. Our philosophy is prevention rather than invasive intervention, however in case intervention is needed, we aim to preserve the integrity of the tooth through a minimal intervention approach.
Bacteria normally found in your mouth form a sticky substance, called plaque, which adheres to the teeth. The bacteria in plaque break down food that has remained in your mouth, most commonly sugars, and produces acid which dissolves tooth enamel. Left untreated, the destruction can spread into the sensitive part of the tooth, dentine, or can spread further still into the roots and cause root decay. The weakened enamel then collapses to form a cavity. Untreated cavities can have serious complications such as broken and painful teeth, abscesses, serious infections, tooth loss and systemic health issues.
Once dental caries has been detected, your dentist will need to remove the decay and place in a filling. If the decay or cavity is more severe, it may need a crown, inlay or onlay to repair any structural damage caused to the tooth. If it has been left untreated to the point of extreme nerve damage, a root canal may be recommended. To maintain optimal oral health, we recommend regular dental visits at intervals tailored individually for each patient to accommodate for their oral health needs and medical history, with attention to identifying risk factors such as diabetes, smoking, inadequate diet, oral hygiene habits and genetic factors.
Your regular dental visit will include obtaining information on your dental and medical history, an oral health assessment and a radio-graphic examination, followed by creating a detailed individualised treatment plan, including advantages and disadvantages of each treatment option and the cost of the treatment.
If you are experiencing any tooth pain or suspect you may have dental caries, it is important to contact us at Massey Dental immediately so we can recommend the best course of action.