When tooth decay destroys tooth structure, it is up to the dentist to replace the damaged tooth structure. How much tooth must be repaired is the question. It’s really no different than if a tree fell into your living room.

If the tree that fell on your house was a huge oak tree, it would cause quite a bit of damage. It might even cause so much destruction that you might have to condemn the house and simply rebuild the entire structure.

If the tree was smaller, like a pine tree, it might cause less damage. Perhaps only the living room itself was damaged and in need of structural repair, not the entire house.

A cavity in your tooth will cause destruction. A small cavity will cause less damage than a large cavity. A large cavity can result in so much tooth structure damage that the only way to save the tooth is with a full coverage dental crown. Other times, the cavity might have been caught sooner and enough tooth structure might remain so that the dentist can create a more conservative partial coverage crown, or a dental onlay.

An onlay or a crown will help the patient preserve their tooth for a lifetime. We look forward to seeing you soon for your preventive dental care visit.