Tooth decay (also known as a cavity or caries) is one of the most common diseases to affect children and adults in the UK. Some people are at higher risk of developing decay than others and it’s commonly caused by plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth.
Tooth Decay Advice
A list of frequently asked questions and answers on the subject of tooth decay:
Causes of Tooth Decay
The bacteria in plaque react with sugar in the foods and drinks we consume to produce acids. Over time, the acid in plaque can begin to breakdown the hard outer surface of the tooth (the enamel) to form a cavity. At this stage, you may not have any symptoms at all. If left untreated, the cavity can progress to the deeper, softer layer of the tooth (dentine). At this stage, you may experience sensitivity to hot and cold when eating and drinking. Finally, decay can then expose the nerves (the pulp) inside a tooth. Exposure of the pulp to bacteria may cause a dental abscess which can be very painful.
Tooth decay can occur:
On the biting surfaces of teeth
On root surfaces
Around existing fillings and crowns (recurrent decay).
Advice on preventing Tooth Decay
For most people, the presence and progression of decay is heavily influenced by their lifestyle.
Therefore, there are several things that can be done to help prevent it;
Good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day for two-three minutes using toothpaste that contains fluoride
You should also floss in between your teeth (this particularly helps prevent decay in between your teeth)
Limit the frequency and amount of sugary food and drinks you consume
Visit your dentist regularly
What can my dentist do?
Your dentist should carefully examine your teeth to check for decay. Decay can sometimes be detected using vision alone.
Your dentist should also take x-rays when necessary (there are guidelines your dentist can follow that recommend the intervals at which x-rays should be taken). The x-rays can detect decay in between your teeth and they can also help determine the extent of any decay.
Your dentist can clean your teeth to remove plaque, provide tailored instruction on how to keep your teeth clean and give you advice on your diet. They will advise you on how regularly you should attend for check-ups – the frequency is determined by how ‘at-risk’ you are of developing decay.
Tooth Decay Treatment
If your dentist detects decay at an early stage, the treatment is simple and non- invasive. He or she will advise you on the measures that you can take to help prevent the decay from progressing further. A fluoride varnish may be applied to help stop the decay progressing.
If the decay is detected at a later stage, your dentist will need to place a filling after decay has been removed. Larger cavities may need a crown.
If it reaches a severe stage where you need restorative dentistry treatments in the form of a root canal procedure or tooth extractions, complications may occur which could result in a claim against your dentist. The Dental Law Partnership often deal with claims when tooth decay has not been diagnosed or has gone unnoticed, meaning other treatments are unsuccessful.
Contact the Dental Law Partnership
If you feel as though your dental procedure hasn’t gone to plan as a result of a tooth decay misdiagnosis, it’s important you get in touch with the Dental Law Partnership in order to establish whether you’re entitled to make a claim.
We have a team of professionals who are on hand to offer legal advice and also representation if you feel you have been mistreated by your dentist. We are proud to be accredited by Lexcel as an industry leader and have a proven track record of helping victims claim compensation for dental crown issues.
Contact The Dental Law Partnership today to discuss your dental negligence case. Our high quality service will ensure you get the best possible amount of compensation you deserve. Call us on Freephone 0800 0853 823.