As difficult and delicate the task of removing tooth decay can be, it is the simpler
procedure than rsetoring the teeth back to their normal form, shape and function.

The restorative considerations and procedures can be exceedingly complex but if the
caries activity is small, it usually can be restored with the most common restoration,
called ” THE FILLING “. These fillings can be made
from gold, procelain, amalgam (silver and mercury),plastics and composite
like materials.

If the decay is larger and involves the chewing surfaces of the teeth, then a full crown
restoration or cast inlay or onlay might be required to restore the tooth to its natural form,
function and appearance.

If a tooth is restorable but the decay has pulpal (nerve) involvement, a “ROOT CANAL”
treatment may be indicated before a restoration is placed.

Most decayed teeth can be restorable if the supporting teeth roots are sound and healthy.
However, the more work required to build the tooth back up to its natural form and function,
can result in a highly guarded, long term prognosis.

Before I get into the actual procedures required to remove decay, prepare and place a final
restoration, I would like to remind you the consumer, that each tooth has five distinct surfaces.

It important for you to understand this fact. Why ? Because the costs involved for filling
depends on the size of the final filling that is going to be placed.

A molar for example, has a chewing surface, cheek surface, tongue surface and two interproximal
surfaces. These are the surfaces between each tooth.The interproximal surface closest to the
opening of the mouth is called the MESIAL surface and the posterior (back) interproximal
surface is called the DISTAL surface.

Consequently , when a dentist tells you that you have a cavity between two teeth he may describe
it as MO cavity or a DO cavity. These types of cavities usually will need a two surface filling
or in the case of an MOD, a three surface filling.

Naturally a three surface filling will cost more than a two surface filling and so on.
The more surfaces involved,the more the restoration will cost to have it fixed.

Unless an interproximal cavity is very large, most are usually detected by the use of dental
xrays. These types of cavities are very common in individuals who may not only brush regularly
but DO NOT FLOSS their teeth.

In my view , flossing your teeth thoroughly once a day , is better that brushing three times
a day and not flossing at all. If you don’t believe me, try this small test at home. Brush
your teeth first, then floss your teeth.
You will see how ineffcient the brushing only was, when you see food debri being removed by
the floss from between your teeth.I have often heard the excuse that flossing takes too long
and is tedious.
Do you know that a thorough flossing habit may only take two to three minutes a day out of your
busy schedule. Don’t you think those three minutes out of your life each day are worth it?

I suggested to my patients that although flossing and brushing after every meal was ideal,
flossing once a day would certainly be adequate. I advised them to pick the same time of
day each and every day so that it would become habit forming.

Have you ever noticed that bad habits are much easier to get into than good habits ?
As I mentioned earlier, tooth decay is completely preventable if you have good oral hygiene.
The best part is it can only cost you the price of some tooth paste and dental floss,
which is certainly affordable to most people.

I do not wish to make my blogs too long so I’m going to end this one now. That said,
I will continue with the treatment of decay in my next weekly blog. If you have any
questions regarding the content of this blog please fire away.

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