Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases in America. While not all of it is caused by eating too much candy, cavities are impacted by our nutritional habits, oral hygiene, and family history. The best way to prevent tooth damage is to address it early, before it gets worse. At West Plains Dental in Airway Heights, we can show you how to stop decay before it starts and take action to treat it in its earliest stages.
Our Spokane dentists thoroughly examine your teeth and screen for signs of cavities at each check-up. This allows for less-invasive and more affordable treatments to keep your teeth strong. The longer cavities are put off, the more extensive the damage becomes to your tooth as a whole. It can even spread to other teeth, resulting in the need for additional care. Early care isn’t just better for your smile, it’s also gentler on your wallet!
We custom match your white filling to blend in with the tooth enamel around it. That way when you smile, nobody realizes you’ve had any dental work done. Your tooth is healthy, beautiful, and ready to go. Plus, composite fillings are less-invasive to your tooth than traditional amalgam (metal) restorations. Why? Because they bond directly to your tooth structure, allowing us to remove the least amount of enamel possible during the preparation.
At West Plains Dental, we can also remove your old silver amalgam fillings when they start to leak, or if they’ve become an aesthetic or health concern. If the area is small enough, a white filling can be put back it its place. Otherwise, a crown may be necessary.
A crown covers your entire tooth, all the way up to the gumlines. Some people also refer to them as “caps.” While a crown can be made in a variety of materials, West Plains Dental generally chooses aesthetically pleasing options that both compliment your smile and withstand everyday use.
You may need a crown if you’ve had a:
When a small area of a tooth is eroded away from decay, a filling is more than adequate. However, large areas of damage simply can’t be “patched up.” Ongoing biting or chewing forces might cause the tooth to split apart. If that happens, you could also wind up needing a root canal as well. That’s when a full-coverage crown would be the best option, as it distributes the forces across the entire tooth so that healthy enamel doesn’t succumb to excessive pressure.
If you’re unsure as to which option you need, our Airway Heights dentists are happy to discuss both options with you. During your exam, we’ll take an x-ray (and possible photos) of your tooth to show you what we see. That way you can co-plan or “co-diagnose” the situation right alongside of us, and have all of the information necessary to select the best treatment option.
Not all tooth decay hurts. While some people experience symptoms like sensitivity or pain when eating, other forms of tooth damage may never be visible on the outside. If our Spokane dentists see signs of cracking during your exam, or a cavity on your x-rays, it’s best to address the issue before it involves the nerve of your tooth and a root canal is required.
Visible cavities that leave dark areas on your teeth or a hole that you can feel with your tongue are usually extremely advanced. We recommend scheduling routine checkups in our Spokane office at least every six months so that we can intervene as soon as the earliest signs of tooth damage become evident. Otherwise you’ll likely be looking at endodontic therapy and a crown instead of a simple white filling.
Nervous? Don’t worry! Our dentists are extremely attentive to your comfort. If you’re nervous about getting a filling or crown, we’ll take extra steps to ensure that you’re needs.
Yes, you can. The best way to prevent tooth decay is to brush and floss regularly and eat a balanced diet. Between meals, stick to drinking fluoridated tap water or snacking on fresh, crispy produce. Added carbohydrates, sugars, and acids from soda or chips eaten on a frequent basis can lead to an increase in acidic biofilm that etches away at your enamel over time. If you have a past history of extensive decay, we may want to put you on a prescription strength fluoride to keep your enamel strong and resistant to bacteria.
If you’re wearing braces, have a dental bridge, or struggle with areas that are difficult to clean, our Airway Heights dental team will show you various methods that are effective. Regular plaque removal through daily home care and preventive visits with our Spokane dentist, along with a high water intake are the most important things to keep in mind.
No insurance? Ask about West Plain Dental’s Dental Savers Plan to find out how you can save as much as 50% on select dental treatments and receive two cleanings per year. 0% financing is also available through CareCredit. Apply right here in our Spokane dentist office and get started on your treatment the very same day.
Call West Plain Dental in Airway Heights to schedule your next visit to find out how we can help you enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile that lasts for years to come. Be sure to ask about our $35 exam and x-rays option for first time patients.