When Tooth Decay Gets Too Deep

Browne tooth decayHave you been told you need a filling due to tooth decay? It is so important not to wait too long to remove the infection. Decay that is left untreated will continue to spread and a simple filling could turn into a much more serious and costly restoration. In today’s blog, your Prairie Village, KS, dentist explains the restorative options when dental decay reaches too deep into the tooth.

Three Layers of the Tooth

Did you know that your teeth are made up of three different layers? The outer layer is the beautiful white enamel, the next layer is the softer yellow dentin, then the inner layer is the pulp. The pulp is the most vulnerable layer because it contains nerves and blood vessels. It supports the life of your tooth.

Root Canal

If a crack or decay reaches the pulp, a root canal or maybe even an extraction could be necessary. Bacteria that enter this area have now infected the tooth and compromised its health. If left untreated, the bacteria enter the bloodstream and cause damage to bone and other tissues.

Now a root canal must be performed. In this procedure, the pulp chambers are accessed with special tools and disinfectants that will clean the canals. Then the dentist will fill the chambers with a material to protect them. After the root canal, a crown is fabricated to cover and protect the tooth. When the tooth loses vitality, it becomes brittle over time, so the crown adds strength.


If the decay, a break, or a crack has damaged too much of the tooth then an extraction may be in order. This is always a last resort but sometimes it is the best option. In this case, there are several options to restore the newly created space.


An implant is the gold standard for replacing missing teeth in most cases. Sometimes a bone graft may need to be placed to create enough space for the implant to fuse to the jawbone. Many times, the bone graft is placed on the same day as a tooth extraction to speed up the healing process. If there is sufficient bone, then the implant can be placed on the same day as a tooth removal. This titanium restoration with a life-life crown is sturdy, dependable, and can last for a very long time with proper care.

Schedule A Visit Today

Don’t let a simple cavity turn into a more severe dental infection. Please reach out to our Prairie Village, KS dentist’s office at 913-901-8585 and we can help determine the most appropriate solution to restore health to your mouth.