Tooth Decay and Dental Implants

Before we can really talk about tooth decay, we must first go over the various parts that make up a tooth. While many people are aware of the two main parts of a tooth, those being the root and the crown, these people tend to not be aware that there is much more to our teeth than that. Our teeth are actually made up of four different tissues, which include:

  • Enamel: The enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth and the hardest substance in our body, which makes it perfect for protecting the tissues beneath from harm.
  • Dentin: Providing backup for the enamel is the dentin, which acts as another layer of defense for our teeth. Dentin also works to distribute nutrition throughout the tooth.
  • Cementum: While not as strong as enamel or dentin, cementum is another hard tissue that works to protect your tooth. In particular, cementum is used to protect your tooth root from damage while also anchoring it to the jawbone.
  • Pulp: The final layer is the pulp, which sits in the center of your tooth and is made up of connective tissue, nerve tissue, lymph and blood vessels, and odontoblasts.

How Does Tooth Decay Happen?

Many people will tell you that cavities and tooth decay are the result of eating too much sugar. However, this is only half of the truth. Tooth decay is actually the result of bacteria that collects on your teeth. What makes sugar so bad for your teeth is the fact that the bacteria on your teeth use this sugar as fuel to produce acids. It is these acids that proceed to eat away at your tooth’s defenses, eventually weakening your enamel to the point where they will be able to reach the inner layers of your tooth.

When tooth decay manages to get past your enamel, it creates a cavity. In this case, you will need a dental filling in order to prevent the condition from getting worse. If tooth decay manages to reach the pulp of your tooth, you will need a root canal in addition to a dental filling. However, if tooth decay does enough damage to one of your teeth, that tooth will need to be removed in order to prevent the decay from spreading to other teeth and beginning the process all over again.

Protect Yourself From Tooth Decay with Dental Implants

Not only can dental implants restore any teeth lost to tooth decay, but they can also be used to fill “food traps”, which are gaps between your teeth caused by missing teeth. These gaps are notorious for causing tooth decay in our patients, which can end up costing them even more teeth. If you would like to use dental implants to fill food traps or would like to replace any teeth lost to tooth decay, we encourage you to contact us and schedule a no-obligation consultation with our dental implant providers today.