If you smoke, use poor or inconsistent brushing techniques, suffer from a dry mouth, grind your teeth during the night or have a diet that is especially high in sugar, you are likely to need to ask your dentist to treat a decaying tooth at some point in your life. However, there is more than one way in which one might treat a decaying tooth, and the approach taken to treat a decaying tooth will vary depending on the severity and cause of the decay.
How to treat a decaying tooth that has mild decay
If your dentist spots mild decay on a tooth, he may simply suggest that he treat the decaying tooth with a fluoride coating that can help to protect the tooth and prevent the decay from getting any worse.
How to treat a decaying tooth that has a cavity
If tooth decay has led to the development of a hole in your tooth, your dentist will most likely remove the decay and then use a filling to compensate for the hole and recreate the original shape of the tooth.
How to treat a decaying tooth that has caused nerve damage
In more severe cases, your dentist may treat a decaying tooth that has caused nerve damage by opting to perform a root canal. This procedure will get rid of the nerve that has been damaged by decay, and the tooth can then be restored in a natural-looking way.
How to treat a decaying tooth that is deemed particularly severe
If your dentist thinks that your tooth is damaged beyond repair, he may suggest that the way to treat a decaying tooth of this type is to remove the tooth. Although you may be concerned about how this will look, it is important to realize that cosmetic dentistry is highly effective. Once you have been through the extraction required to treat a decaying tooth that is severely decayed, you can pursue options such as a bridge or an implant in order to hide the gap where the extracted tooth used to be.