Management of dental problems depends, of course, on the nature of the problem:

  • Teeth with cavities are sealed, filled, capped, or crowned.
  • Partial dentures or a bridge can be created to replace missing teeth, or a full set of dentures can be fabricated.
  • A newer but more expensive option to replace missing teeth is to implant individual false teeth by anchoring them permanently into the bone of the jaw. This option is cosmetically and functionally superior but presents certain risks, such as infection and implant failure.
  • Periodontal disease is treated with antibiotics, a thorough removal of plaque buildup using a process called scaling, and root planing to smooth the surfaces of tooth roots so that plaque cannot easily adhere to them. Sometimes the gums are peeled back first to expose more of the root for planing. This procedure is called flap surgery. Occasionally bone or tissue grafting is needed to treat periodontal disease, or methods to encourage tissue regeneration may be employed.
  • Cancers of the mouth and throat, like other cancers, are treated by an oncologist with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of those options.