For a brief time during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, people who didn’t need emergency care had a legitimate excuse to put off visiting the dentist. Now that the worst of the pandemic appears to be behind us thanks to vaccines and dental offices like Santa Clarita Valley Dental Group have learned how to make visiting the dentist safer than ever before, patients have been out of legitimate excuses for some time — but many of them have yet to return to the dentist. That’s not great. Anyone who puts off routine dental care for too long runs the risk of countless issues.
What Can Happen When People Delay Dental Visits Indefinitely?
Not much that’s good! One common scenario is that a tooth that’s been hit by tooth decay has created a cavity so advanced it can’t be dealt with via a routine dental filling. When tooth decay is very advanced it can cause sometimes severe pain and more than one tooth may be affected.
Gum diseases are another common problem. If gingivitis gives way to the more serious periodontitis, multiple teeth may be lost. That’s bad enough but losing teeth can lead to bone loss in the jaw, which can be just as bad as it sounds. Common signs of gum diseases include bleeding gums and bad breath – what dentists call halitosis. Even if you just see a little pink on your toothbrush, that’s blood and you should contact a dentist as soon as possible.
How are Advanced Tooth Decay Problems Treated?
The standard treatment for the kind of highly advanced tooth decay and infection that may cause a toothache is a root canal. This procedure removes all the infected pulp and the nerve but preserves the root. The root is then covered by a dental crown. After a time, patients will be able to resume their eating just as before. One more thing, despite what patients might have heard when they were younger, root canals should be no more uncomfortable than replacing a filling, though they do take a little longer.
Sometimes, however, the root is so badly compromised that extraction becomes the only recourse. Once that is done, it is crucial to replace the tooth as quickly as possible. In the old days, dentures or bridgework were the only substitutes. Today, however dental implants look and act exactly like natural teeth. The implants themselves replace the lost roots and are then covered with a custom-made crown.
Dental implants are far more convenient than traditional oral prosthetics in that they require no additional care beyond standard dental hygiene – which, of course, includes those two-year dental visits!
What Can be Done about Gum Diseases?
Gum diseases like gingivitis and its more advanced cousin, periodontitis, are potentially serious matters but we’re happy to say that they can typically be treated with real success. If the infection has not progressed too far, it can often be dealt with through deep cleaning, a process called root planing and scaling by dentists. When cases are more serious, additional and more advanced types of gum treatment may be employed.
Get Back on the Right Oral Health Track with Santa Clarita Valley Dental Group
Whether you’re ready to get back on track with routine preventive care or are dealing with a nasty toothache and need an emergency dentist in Santa Clarita, we’re here to help. Don’t put off calling the number on your screen or visiting our contact page.