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It’s important to catch tooth decay early so the tooth can be saved. Minimal decay can often be repaired, but if you put off seeing the dentist, it may cause extensive decay to your teeth – requiring an extraction.
At Bedford South Dentistry, we’ll recommend treatment based on how severely your teeth have been damaged by decay. Your Bedford dentists believe in working with our patients on their oral care, so we will always discuss your options with you before proceeding with treatment.
Fillings: If plaque has dissolved the enamel of your tooth — making a tiny cavity — the solution is often as easy as a filling. We can remove the decayed portion of your tooth, and fill the space with metal, acrylic or porcelain.
Crowns: If your tooth already contains several fillings — or has a large amount of decay — we may suggest a crown. This encircles (or “caps”) your tooth, protecting it and keeping it strong. Crowns can be made of gold, porcelain fused to metal, or pure white porcelain (to resemble a natural tooth). A crown is normally done over two appointments. During the first appointment, the tooth is prepared to receive the crown. An impression is taken and sent to the laboratory. During the second visit, your crown is inserted.
Root Canals: You could require a root canal if tooth decay progresses and damages the nerve of your tooth. Dentists at Bedford South Dentistry can remove the damaged nerve and fill the space with new material — allowing you to keep your natural tooth. Since the tooth no longer has a nerve to provide its blood supply, we may place a crown over your tooth to prevent it from chipping or cracking easily.
Bridges: If your tooth is badly decayed, we may recommend removing the affected tooth and giving you a bridge. The teeth adjacent to the missing tooth will act as supports for an artificial tooth in the middle.
Dental implants: A badly decayed tooth often needs to be removed completely. In this situation, a dental implant is usually the best course of treatment. A titanium implant is placed in the bone, and a new crown is placed over the implant. Dental implants do not affect adjacent teeth, and are considered to be the next best thing to having a strong, healthy natural tooth. They allow you to smile, speak and eat with comfort and confidence.
Call or email Bedford South Dentistry today to learn more about our general restoration services in Bedford.
Q: How many appointments do I need for a crown restoration?
A: At Bedford South Dentistry, a crown can be made and attached during a single visit. Traditional treatment requires two separate appointments, but because we use a CADCAM system, we're able to produce the crown in our office in a single appointment.
Q: Do dental restorations last forever?
A: Unfortunately, nothing in the dental world can be guaranteed forever. The life of your dental restoration depends on many factors — such as regular dental care, your brushing and flossing habits, and your diet. It's different for every patient, but it is likely that future restorations will be required at some point.
Q: I’m missing a tooth, but it’s towards the back of my mouth and you can’t even notice. What will happen if I don’t do anything about my missing tooth?
A: When you are missing a tooth (or multiple teeth), it also allows food and bacteria to become trapped more easily, leading to further decay. Also, the adjacent teeth will shift in an attempt to fill the gap and your jawbone may begin to break down. This can change the shape of your mouth over time, causing your skin to shift, creating an undesirable appearance.
One solution is a bridge. It will use the adjacent teeth as supports for an artificial tooth in the middle. Another option is a dental implant. An implant is an artificial tooth resting on a titanium screw that takes the place of a natural tooth root and prevents your jawbone from breaking down.
Q: Does my dental insurance cover all of my treatment options — a filling, a crown, a root canal, a bridge, or a dental implant?
A: It depends on your coverage. Everyone’s insurance policy is different and you should be aware of what your policy will cover and what it will not. The front office staff of Bedford South Dentistry are experienced in these matters and we would be happy to help you with your available coverage, so call us today.