Treatment for the Most Common Causes of Tooth Loss

With a combination of good oral hygiene habits and regular dental exams and cleanings, patients should be able to avoid serious oral health problems. However, many patients skip dental exams and flossing, resulting in dental complications such as tooth loss. Restorative dentistry treatments can rebuild damaged smiles by replacing teeth that have been lost, but it is important for patients to understand what causes tooth loss in the first place. Dr. Robert Rapisarda discusses common causes of tooth loss with his Barre, MA patients, as well as the treatment options that are available to those who have already experienced this loss.
Toothbrush and Floss

Causes of Tooth Loss

When tooth loss occurs, it is typically the result of poor oral hygiene habits. It is true that good oral hygiene habits (including regular brushing and flossing) are vital to the health of the teeth, and that poor oral hygiene habits can compromise oral health and increase the risk of dental complications. The specific effect on oral health include:

  • Advanced tooth decay: Tooth decay doesn’t pose a huge threat to the health of the teeth if it is treated in a timely manner. Even moderate cases of tooth decay can be easily treated with a dental filling. However, advanced cases of decay (those which have not been treated) do threaten the health, strength, and structure of the teeth and can ultimately lead to tooth loss.
  • Advanced erosion: Many people confuse erosion with decay, because the side effects of erosion are similar to that of tooth decay. However, decay is caused by a buildup of bacteria; erosion is the result of a highly acidic oral environment. Foods and beverages that are high in acid can slowly eat away at the tooth’s protective layer of enamel. As with decay, erosion can be treated, if it is caught soon enough, but advanced cases can cause tooth loss.
  • Root canal infection: Teeth that have been damaged by decay or erosion are vulnerable to root canal infections. A root canal infection may develop when bacteria enters the center of a tooth, where the nerves reside. If these nerves and the pulp of the tooth become inflamed and infected, tooth loss may occur.
  • Advanced gum disease: Unhealthy gums are another common cause of tooth loss. Gum disease causes the gum tissue to become sensitive and inflamed, and can eventually result in gum recession. Without treatment, advanced gum disease can lead to tooth loss.
  • Injury: Even patients with the healthiest teeth and gums can experience tooth loss. In these cases, an injury is the most common cause of tooth loss. A fall or a blow to the face may either knock a tooth out completely, or damage it so severely that it requires extraction.

Tooth Loss Treatments

Once a tooth has been lost, the goal is to replace it with a strong dental restoration. This allows patients to maintain oral functions, maintain the structure of the mouth, and avoid additional dental complications. Dr. Rapisarda offers several restorative dentistry treatments that can address tooth loss, including dental bridges, dentures, and dental implant-supported restorations.

Contact Us

If you have experienced adult tooth loss, or are concerned about the health of your teeth, Dr. Robert Rapisarda would be happy to help you restore your oral health so that you can enjoy a strong and beautiful smile. To learn more about our comprehensive range of dental services, contact us at your earliest convenience.

Application for Dental Fillings vs. Dental Crowns

Under ideal circumstances, the teeth would remain strong and healthy and no one would ever require any dental care other than routine exams and cleanings. However, the real world is often far from ideal, and it is completely normal for the teeth to be in need of some restorative care. Restorative dentistry treatments address oral health problems to restore the strength, structure, and health of a damaged tooth. There are a number of restorative treatments that can achieve these goals, and determining which technique is the most appropriate for each patient’s unique situation is crucial to the ultimate success of treatment. Dr. Robert Rapisarda discusses two of the most common of these treatment options to help his patients understand the applications of dental fillings vs. crowns at his Barre, MA dental practice.

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are one of the most frequently performed restorative dental treatments. In fact, most people have received a dental filling at least once in their lifetime. This is because dental fillings are most often used to repair dental cavities, which are one of the most common oral health problems. Dental fillings can be extremely effective in repairing minor to moderate cases of tooth decay (generally referred to as dental cavities), but their applications are fairly limited. Any decay or damage that is more severe in nature will require alternate restorative treatment.

The dental filling treatment procedure is fairly straightforward. Dental fillings are also known as direct fillings, because the filling material is applied directly to the damaged tooth, where it is shaped to the tooth, and then hardened in place. Dental filling treatment can be completed in a single dental appointment that is usually under an hour in length.

Dental Crowns

Dental Crowns Dental crowns are another popular restorative dental treatment. As with fillings, dental crowns can restore a tooth that has been damaged by decay. However, dental crowns are able to address larger cases of decay, and can also treat dental injuries and cosmetic blemishes. The varied applications of dental crowns are one thing that makes them such a common restorative treatment option.

Dental crown treatment is more complex than that of a dental filling, and does usually require two dental appointments. This is because dental crowns are indirect restorations. Unlike fillings, which are applied directly to the teeth, dental crowns are designed, and then fabricated in a dental laboratory. The tooth can be cleaned and reshaped at an initial dental appointment, and the plans for the crown will be made, but a second appointment will be necessary once the crown is complete, so that it can be bonded to the tooth. A dental crown sits over the tooth much like a hat, which is where it gets its nickname, a dental “cap.” In this way, a dental crown strengthens and protects the tooth from all sides, truly enhancing it structure, as well as its aesthetics.

Both dental fillings and dental crowns can restore a damaged tooth and prevent more serious complications from developing. Dr. Rapisarda will consider the details of each patient’s case to determine which of these treatments is most appropriate in each situation.

Contact Us

If you are concerned about the health of your smile, it is time to seek professional dental care. Dr. Robert Rapisarda has been caring for his patients’ smiles for over 20 years. If you’d like to learn more about our comprehensive range of dental treatments and our high quality level of care, contact us at your earliest convenience.

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