Tooth Decay Treatment

Tooth decay removal and tooth restorations to rebuild shape, function and strength.


Fixing decayed and damaged teeth

Tooth decay is the process where enamel begins to degrade, leading to deterioration of the outer and inner areas of the teeth. Affecting most Australians, tooth decay can cause ongoing pain, sensitivity and even infection of the teeth if left untreated. 

What are the causes of tooth decay?

Tooth decay is caused by the presence of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a clear, sticky film that is formed when bacteria in the mouth mixes with the sugar and starch food particles that we eat. The acids in plaque attack the outer layers of enamel, leading to dental caries — known more commonly as cavities. Plaque will also harden over time into a substance called tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist.

Holes in your enamel can lead to later stages of tooth decay. Acids and bacteria are able to pass through these holes to reach the inner layer of teeth called dentin, which is softer than enamel and more susceptible to damage. Decay can quickly progress into the innermost area of the tooth, known as the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. Once decay reaches here, the tooth becomes significantly swollen and painful, and decay is more difficult to treat. 

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Signs and symptoms of tooth decay

Decay can develop quickly if you aren’t careful, but there are a number of things to look out for. The main tooth decay signs include occasional sharp pains or toothaches, tenderness or sensitivity when eating hot or cold food and drinks, bad breath, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Decay may also lead to red and swollen gums, as well as bleeding from the gums during or after cleaning your teeth.

Patients may be able to see decay, with one of the earliest symptoms of tooth decay being a white spot on the tooth that appears near the gum line. It is worthwhile speaking to your dentist as soon as possible after you begin experiencing symptoms. The longer you ignore the symptoms, the worse the decay or gum problems may become.

How to treat tooth decay

After identifying that your tooth has decay, there are a few strategies that we can implement to treat the problem. There are two main tooth decay stages, and our treatment will depend on the amount of decay present and its proximity to the tooth’s nerve and roots. 

Early stage tooth decay treatment

When caught early, we may apply a concentrated fluoride gel or paste to the affected tooth to reverse tooth decay. It will also be recommended that you cut down your sugar intake at the same time. If the decay had already formed a cavity in your tooth, our dentists will carefully remove the decay and fill the hole with tooth-coloured material.

Severe tooth decay treatment

If your tooth decay has reached the nerve or pulp of your tooth, there are two main treatments depending on whether the tooth can be saved. If the tooth is salvageable, your dentist will recommend root canal therapy, often followed by a dental crown to complete the restoration. If the tooth is significantly decayed with irreparable damage, tooth extraction may be the only option, followed by the placement of a dental implant to support a new tooth.


Treat your teeth with a leader in dental care

As CDIC’s leading dentist, Dr Hillel New has been providing patients with exceptional dental care for over 32 years. Dr New has built a vast reputation for providing quality, pain-free treatments in both cosmetic and implant dentistry, and is often called upon for his expertise in identifying and troubleshooting problems with dental implants.

His dental treatment philosophy centres around a commitment to evidence-based dentistry, and he believes in effective communication as the key to treatment success and positive long-term relationships with his patients.

How do you prevent tooth decay?

While it is a common dental concern, tooth decay is preventable. At CDIC, we believe that a comprehensive and preventative approach to dental care is more beneficial than simply reacting when decay occurs. We provide our patients with sustainable teeth management strategies to keep their teeth healthy and clean between visits.

Other tips to help prevent tooth decay include:

  • Mouthwash: Using some mouthwash after cleaning your teeth can help reduce any lingering food particles that may be hidden in your teeth, while also providing a fresher scent to your breath.
  • Diet: Eating a well-balanced diet will help keep your teeth healthy. You should reduce the amount of sugar you consume and try to snack less frequently, and consider chewing sugar-free gum to increase saliva and protect your teeth.
  • Check Ups: Regularly visiting your dentist every six months will give you the best chance of keeping your teeth as healthy as possible, and catching any decay as it occurs and before it becomes too serious.

Restore decaying teeth at CDIC

At CDIC, our team of dental clinicians are well-trained and experienced in tooth decay management. With over three decades servicing Armadale/Malvern locals, we are committed to providing prompt dental treatment – because we understand tooth decay management just can’t wait.