When Your Tooth Decay Goes Beyond A Simple Filling Repair

When Your Tooth Decay Goes Beyond A Simple Filling Repair

Attending regular check-ups is vital to keeping your smile healthy. When you get your teeth cleaned every six months, the worst that could occur between checkups is the need for a simple cavity filling. However, if you let a damaged tooth decay for too long it may result in the need for a crown, bridge, or even an implant.


A dental crown is a cap, shaped like a tooth that goes over your decayed tooth. It’s purpose is to restore the functionality of your pre-existing tooth by improving its strength, shape, size and appearance. The cap is cemented onto the decayed tooth so that from your gum line, the cap is the only thing visible. Some possible reasons for needing a crown include the following:

  • To keep a cracked tooth together
  • Protect a decaying tooth
  • Cosmetic reason- such as covering a discolored tooth
  • To keep a dental bridge intact.
  • To restore a tooth that has deteriorated or broken.
  • To cover a misshaped tooth or dental implant
  • To strengthen a small tooth with a big filling.


A dental bridge is comprised of two or more crowns that fill the gap made by one or missing tooth. On either side of the gap there will be abutment teeth that have crowns cemented onto them. These teeth become the anchor of your bridge. The gap is then filled by a false tooth or teeth called pontics which can be made from porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination of the three. There are many benefits to dental bridges including:

  • They give you back a smile you can be confident in.
  • Allow you to speak properly.
  • Restore your full capacity to chew.
  • Even out your bite by distributing your chewing force evenly.
  • Keep your remaining teeth from shifting position.


The primary cause of tooth loss is periodontal disease, injury and tooth decay. While previously the main course of treatment for a missing tooth or teeth was to get dentures, or a dental bridge, advances in dentistry have made dental implants possible. A dental implant is primarily an outpatient procedure done in stages.

  1. The broken or decayed tooth is extracted.
  2. We will prepare your jaw for surgery, this sometime includes receiving a bone graft.
  3. Once your jawbone has healed, we will put a metal post (the dental implant) into the root of your jawbone.
  4. Through a process called osseointegration which takes several months, the metal post becomes permanently attached to your jawbone.
  5. An abutment is placed to the metal post, sometimes this can be done with the dental implant.
  6. Once the soft tissues have fully healed, we will make a mold of your jawbone and teeth.
  7. The final replacement tooth is added to the dental implant.

Preventative Care

While we’re extremely grateful to have such advances in dentistry, it’s much better to avoid needing any of these treatments. Preventative care is essential for keeping your smile healthy.

  • Brush your teeth morning and night for two minutes.
  • Floss your teeth regularly.
  • Schedule and attend dental check-ups every six months.
  • Schedule an appointment in our office at the first sign of trouble to avoid further damage.

Practicing these preventative steps consistently will ensure that you never let your tooth decay get to the point of needing a dental crown, bridge, or implant.

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