Characterized by severe discoloration, pain, and the loss of one or more teeth, tooth decay can wreak havoc on your smile, self-esteem, and underlying oral health. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans have cavities and tooth decay. Treatment, which may involve fillings and root canal procedures, but restoring the smile back to a healthy and appealing state will also be necessary. Here are a few restorative dentistry options to consider after being treated for tooth decay.

Dental Fillings

If you have cavities and decay, a filling may be the best course of treatment for preventing further damage to your teeth.

Amalgam, composite resin, gold, and ceramic are all materials that can be used to fill the cavities in your teeth. Filings are easily placed, most often conducted during a basic dental appointment if your dentist finds one or more cavities.

Dental Inlays

Fillings are a common treatment for cavities, but if you have experienced severe damage to the tooth that fillings cannot repair, inlays may be the best option for restoring your smile.

Inlays are made out of porcelain or composite resin, which is matched to the color of your existing teeth. They are fabricated in a lab, after impressions of your mouth and affected teeth are taken, so they fit perfectly into the grooves of your teeth, creating a natural look is also durable.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns may also be an option recommended by your dentist if you have tooth decay. Crowns are fabricated and molded to match and fit your existing tooth. They act as a cover, preventing the decay from spreading and breaking your tooth.

Crowns should be placed after removing any decay using a root canal procedure. This ensures the tooth decay is not only treated, but the tooth is also protected from further damage or risk of decay in the future.

Dental Implants

If you have lost a few teeth due to your tooth decay, your dentist may recommend dental implants to restore your smile. Implants are surgically placed into the jaw bone where you lost teeth were initially, so this restorative option is a bit more involved than others.

It is also important to note that implants are not a quick-fix for your smile. After placing the implants, osseointegration must take place. Osseointegration, which is the fusion of the implant into the bone, can take a few weeks. Once the implants have fused to the bone, your dentist will secure the artificial tooth into place.