Tooth decay and consequences

Tooth decay is the most common dental problem that is encountered. The main causative agent in dental caries is bacteria that find a suitable environment on the tooth structure. The most important bacteria that cause dental caries are Streptococci. When we eat sticky food like chocolates, chips and many more they get adhered to the teeth. The bacteria get food to eat. The digestion of these food materials requires the release the acids from the bacteria. This acid release then demineralises the tooth structure. The demineralised areas provide more and more area for the bacteria to thrive. The demineralised areas are more liable to damage and acid attack. Once the process starts the tooth decay progresses at a very rapid rate and caries develop.

Tooth decay must be addressed at the earliest. The demineralised tooth portion is very fragile and forces of occlusion or the biting forces might fracture the decayed tooth part. Cracks in the tooth allow leakage of products into the tooth structure. Extensive tooth damage can allow the bacteria to seep into the root canal system and cause periapical infection. Once such an infection is established, pain is felt. The pulp complex gets infected and gradually the pain increases in intensity. Many a times this phase may be a dental emergency and you may have to rush to the dentist.

It is therefore, alternatives to caps very important to treat the carious lesion in its incipient stages so that the ensuing process can be controlled at the earliest. The carious portion of the tooth needs to be scooped out or removed. All the affected area that has turned brown should also be monitored and a filling is put in the tooth to restore the decayed part of the tooth. The filling should mimic the lost structure of the tooth and should function as the original tooth.

If the tooth damage is extensive then alongwith a filling the remaining tooth structure should be protected by means of a crown or cap. Large destruction of the tooth greatly compromises the strength of the tooth and thus a cap becomes imperative. For placing a cap on the tooth, a seat for the cap has to be created. The seat is made by grinding the tooth further to allow the cap to be placed. The entire process causes large loss of tooth structure. The net natural tooth structure remaining is very small.

The best way to protect the tooth is to use methods that cause minimal loss of tooth structure and that which rehabilitates the tooth efficiently and effectively. The technique to do this biomimetic dentistry that is minimally invasive and mimics the original tooth completely.


About the Author
Alex Ferguson is the author of this article. For further detail about alternatives to crowns please visit the website.

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