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When tooth decay develops on a tooth, it will inevitably spread. The rate at which this happens will be accelerated by poor oral hygiene habits. Without timely, professional treatment, the tooth can become significantly compromised. If the bacteria manage to afflict the root or cause an infectious abscess in your gums, the tooth might not be viable for treatment by a root canal.

To effectively treat a tooth in this condition, Dr. Richard Healy might advocate a total extraction. This will gradually alleviate the pain and prevent an infection from developing.

Once your gums have fully healed, he can help you get a better understanding of your treatment options. One effective method is to have the tooth replaced with a dental bridge.

This piece of dental work is a false tooth that has been fused to a pair of crowns. Each end of the bridge is cemented onto abutments that are formed out of the core of the two neighboring teeth.

Your dentist will use a drill to remove the tooth enamel from each anchoring tooth to create a pair of abutments. These are essentially protective sheaths of dentin that house the healthy pulp, root and nerve of each tooth. Temporary dental crowns will then be secured over each abutment to protect them.

A detailed impression of the abutments and the other teeth related in your bite will be taken. This will be sent to a dental lab to serve as a guide while the technicians create your bridge.

When your bridge is ready, we will call you to schedule a follow-up appointment. Once it has been cemented onto the abutments, it will replace the previously decayed tooth for many years to come.

If you live in the Santa Maria, California, area and you have a tooth suffering from tooth decay, you should call 805-928-3928 to seek treatment at our dental office.