Teeth are strong. In fact, their outer layer (tooth enamel) is the strongest material your body produces. Teeth are not, however, indestructible, nor are they immune to disease and infection. Luckily, the field of dentistry has advanced considerably since its humble beginnings (which, so far, have been traced as far back as 7000 BC). Even if your resilient chompers do fall victim to misfortune, you have plenty of options for restoring the beauty and function of any afflicted tooth. Today, your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael Young, explains two of the most common recourses for treating and protecting ill teeth—tooth fillings and dental crowns.
Replacing Decayed Tooth Material
One of the most common afflictions to befall human teeth is decay. Indeed, over 90% of adults in America have had at least one cavity in their permanent teeth. The standard operating procedure for treating tooth decay is to remove the decayed tissue before the infection spreads any more. Like most oral health issues, tooth decay is progressive, and if not stopped, the decay will eat away the structure of your tooth until it falls out or requires extraction. Before it reaches the center of your tooth (called the pulp), decay can typically be treated by removing the decay and replacing the extracted tooth tissue with a manmade dental filling. Made from composite resin, these innovative fillings are dyed to match the color of your teeth, providing a discrete solution while reinforcing and strengthening your tooth.
Protecting the Underdog
In cases of decay where excessive tooth structure must be removed, or when dental trauma damages your tooth and threatens its structural integrity, you may benefit from dental crown. Often called a cap, a dental crown is shaped like your natural tooth and placed over the target tooth to protect it from further infection and/or damage. Crowns are often used in conjunction with dental fillings to further reinforce the tooth, and when supported by a dental implant, crowns can also serve to replace an entirely lost tooth.
Excellent Dental Care in Lafayette
If you live in the 70508 area and would like to learn more about maintaining your bright and healthy smile, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Young, call our Lafayette dentist office at (337) 237-6453.