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Treatment of severe dental decay

Severe dental decay can destroy your teeth and smile very rapidly. Severe decay can be caused be a few things.

Sometimes, a period of major ill health or hospitalisation may contribute to a worsened dental condition. Ineffective (or infrequent) oral hygiene practices and dietary factors can have a major influence in creating a decay permitting environment. Oral hygiene and dietary habits can be controlled with the right approach and compliance, but for some, major health issues may still contribute to higher decay rates.

These conditions may include

  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Radiotherapy of the head, neck and brain.
  • Diabetes
  • A wide range of medications including drugs (but not limited to) for treatment of depression and anxiety, and diuretic drugs

What do we need from you?

Honesty. Engagement.

Please share a complete medical history with us. Please tell the truth about what you’ve done (or not). What are the realistic expectations about what you wish done?

What we do for you in the clinic is important, but more important is what you do or don’t do when you’re not at the dentist.

 At Odontologica, we view treatment in three main stages

  • Stage 1. Active disease must be diagnosed and stopped (Active Treatment).
  • Stage 2. Damage is repaired and best oral function regained (Rehabilitation); and
  • Stage 3. Oral Maintenance and preventive care.

Ultimately, our goal is to reduce your dental needs to the most basic, with ideally no new fillings, healthy gums and oral tissues.

Stage 1

We aim to complete stage 1 rapidly. The real goal here is to address all active dental decay rapidly (ideally over 6-8 weeks or less), and to use the materials best suited. Often, materials selection must favour decay resistance in this stage. The material often selected is known as a Glass Ionomer. This material has the capacity to seal the tooth against bacterial irritation and to resist decay in a way which protects natural tooth substance.

The whole purpose here is to prevent further damage, to promote healing in order to secure the prognosis of the compromised teeth.

While there is active decay, it is not recommended to complete a full endodontic filling (root canal) treatment. Partial treatment can be completed at this point and wait for final treatment until decay is well managed.

This stage may include a period of up to a year where the teeth which have been treated are given an opportunity to heal undisturbed. By so doing, the need for root canal treatment may be reduced for some teeth.

Stages 2 and 3

This is where non-urgent treatments and choices need to be made which are intended to bring oral function and appearance back to a desired level.  Stage 3 happens at the same time and works to keep your oral health in a steady state.

Ultimately, the rehabilitation phase can be short or long (up to many years) depending on what is planned. Your input is critical and we’re here to facilitate what you want.

We can help. Do something positive today. It isn’t difficult.


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