Patient visits dental clinic with a bad tooth

How Dental Clinics Treat a Bad Tooth

Even though dental disease is preventable, most Canadians will be affected by dental concerns at some point in their lives. Gum disease, tooth decay, nerve pain or other issues are quite common. Fortunately, there are many ways that the dentists at Red Deer dental clinics can treat a bad tooth. Keep reading to learn more about the options to repair a tooth.

Assessing the Problem
The first thing that a dentist will do is assess the severity of damage on the affected tooth. They will use various diagnostic tests, x-rays and a thorough examination of the area. It is recommended to have regular examinations to assess the of the health of the teeth as well as the supporting gum tissue, bone structure, and oral tissues of the mouth. The goal is to treat problems early on and avoid the expense and time required for serious problems. After an examination, the dentist will make a diagnosis and discuss with you the options available to restore the tooth if it is possible to do so. Mild damage may necessitate a filling whereas more extensive damage may require other treatments.

Fillings and Crowns
If you have a cavity, a part of your tooth has started to decay, and your dentist will likely recommend a filling. Fillings are used to “fill up” the space that is left once all signs of decay from the tooth are removed. There are several types of materials that can be used to create fillings:

  • Amalgam: Amalgam was first documented to be used in fillings as early as 659 AD. By the 1800’s, it became the material of choice due to its low cost, ease of use, strength and durability. It is an “amalgamation” of several metals. It can be used throughout the mouth but is more often used in posterior teeth due to it’s metallic appearance. 
  • Composite: Composite fillings (or resin fillings) have been created to match the color of teeth. They can also be used throughout the mouth but are very technique sensitive, especially in the wet environment of the mouth, and have limits to their strength. 
  • Onlays or Inlays: These are custom fillings made indirectly (outside the mouth), and bonded or "glued" into the teeth. They are used in areas where the loss of tooth structure is greater, or more strength and durability is required. Onlays and Inlays can be made of several materials such as gold, porcelain, and other white materials.
  • Crowns: A crown is essentially a “cap” that is custom-made to fit over a tooth that is severely structurally compromised. It is used to splint the tooth together and restore the tooth to its proper shape and function. A crown can improve the look of damaged, discolored or misshapen teeth as well.

Root Canals
A root canal is a dental procedure designed to help you save your natural tooth by removing the nerve of the tooth which is damaged either by fractures, decay or infection. Once the nerve tissue is removed, the hollow tooth is cleaned, shaped and sealed. The tooth may then need a crown to restore the tooth to function.

If you have a bad tooth that needs urgent attention, visit Dr. Caroline Krivuzoff-Sanderson today. Our Red Deer dental clinic is a family dental practice that offers complete and comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages. Dr. Caroline Krivuzoff-Sanderson warmly welcomes new patients of all ages. Contact our dental clinic today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.