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Say “No Way” to Tooth Decay

Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. Feb 5, 2015

A young woman resting her chin on folded hands, her smile revealing her healthy teeth, free from tooth decayAlthough tooth enamel is one of the strongest substances in all of nature, it can eventually erode. As it does, a tooth loses its first line of defense against decay. Although modern restorative dentistry offers a number of excellent solutions to damage caused by tooth decay, when it comes to your oral health, prevention is truly the best treatment of all. That is why it is so important for people who have healthy teeth to visit the dentist twice a year as recommended by the American Dental Association for professional cleanings and thorough dental examinations.

Unfortunately, many people wait until they have an oral health problem to visit the dentist. For this reason, Dr. Danny O’Keefe offers a comprehensive range of outstanding dental treatments designed to restore health, beauty, and function to damaged teeth. At Dr. O’Keefe’s restorative dentistry practice in Jackson, tooth decay treatments of the highest standard are available to our valued patients, along with cosmetic treatments that can return the sparkle to even the most ordinary smile. For patients who are apprehensive about undergoing dental work, Dr. O’Keefe also offers dental sedation.

Preventing Tooth Decay

As stated above, the best way to treat tooth decay is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. This can be accomplished by:

  • Limiting your consumption of foods and beverages that are high in acidic content, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, soda, and salad dressings.
  • Brushing and flossing at least twice daily and after each meal.
  • Visiting the dentist at least twice a year.
  • If you smoke, quitting.
  • If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), seeking treatment.

Treating Tooth Decay

Once the tooth begins to decay, the damaged portion of the tooth will have to be removed. If left untreated, the decay will spread until it reaches one of the root canal chambers at the center of the tooth; at that point, the root canal can become infected, causing excruciating pain and putting the tooth at risk of eventual death. By treating decay immediately, Dr. O’Keefe can salvage as much of the natural tooth as possible, which is always preferable to extraction, and certainly preferable to going through the pain of having the tooth slowly decay and fall out.

If the decay is caught in its earliest stages, and the portion of the tooth that needs to be removed is relatively small, the missing portion can be replaced with either a conventional filling or an inlay or onlay. Also known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays are custom-crafted from high-quality porcelain to fit perfectly into the space once occupied by the missing portion of the tooth. An inlay fits within the cusps of a damaged tooth while an onlay extends to one or more of the cusps. Unlike conventional fillings, inlays and onlays blend seamlessly into the smile.

If the damage to a tooth is too extensive for the tooth to support a filling, inlay, or onlay, Dr. O’Keefe can cover the entire tooth with a dental crown. Dental crowns are crafted from the finest ceramic materials to fit over the entire visible portion of the tooth; once in place, they provide exceptional protection against further damage.

Learn More about Tooth Decay Treatments

To learn more about tooth decay treatments, please contact the restorative dentistry practice of Dr. Danny O’Keefe today.

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