Preventive Dental Care
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been tremendously challenging to the public, businesses, and medical practices, including dental practices. One of the challenges that dental patients are facing is the tendency to eat and drink more during periods of quarantine and lockdown. Unfortunately, the effects of sugar are very well established and include an increased risk of tooth decay. In other words, proper dental care is needed to protect your smile.
You may have been practicing good oral hygiene at home, but have recently slipped because you have not been keeping up with your regular dental appointments. This is a concern because modern dentistry is focused on preventive care. When you neglect routine appointments like checkups and dental cleanings, your dental team is missing an opportunity to examine your mouth, teeth, and gums to detect any early signs of problems before they grow larger and require expensive dental work down the road.
Tooth Decay Symptoms
The most common dental issue that people are having is the development of tooth decay. If you have never experienced tooth decay before quarantine, you may not always know what to look for, particularly when you’re not experiencing any pain.
Some signs and symptoms of tooth decay include the following:
- Tooth sensitivity. You may experience pain or tenderness while eating or drinking food or beverages that are extremely hot or cold.
- Toothache. The pain may be continuous and keep you awake or feel more like an irregular stabbing pain.
- Spots developing on your teeth
- A bad taste within your mouth
- Bad breath
Visiting Your Dentist
Our practice has taken numerous steps to ensure the safety of both our patients and staff during the time of COVID-19. You need to be visiting the dentist regularly so that any signs of tooth decay can be detected and treatment can be offered in a timely manner before any serious harm is done.
It is much easier and inexpensive to treat tooth decay in its early stages. A simple visual examination or x-rays can help us determine if you are dealing with tooth decay. At that point, we can recommend treatments for you.
Tooth Decay Treatments
The type of treatment required for tooth decay is dependent upon how advanced it is. In its early stages, we may discuss with you how much sugar you are consuming in your diet. A fluoride treatment may be used to protect and strengthen the enamel of your teeth so that it is not as susceptible to damage from acids created by plaque.
Another common treatment for tooth decay involves placing a dental filling or crown. This involves the removal of the tooth decay after completely numbing the tooth with a local anesthetic. Finally, the hole, or cavity, is filled.
In cases where tooth decay has reached the dental pulp, the soft tissue found at the center of your tooth, a root canal procedure may be necessary. If a tooth is unable to be restored because it has been extremely damaged, it may need to be removed. In this case, we could replace it using a partial denture, dental bridge, or a dental implant.