Did you know that tooth decay has different stages & in the initial stages it can be reversed or prevented from progressing further.
This article will educate you about the stages of tooth decay (Internationally accepted way of staging tooth decay), when not to treat, when to reverse, when to prevent tooth decay, when to do what treatment in brief. These stages have to be diagnosed by a dentist & then the appropriate action can be instituted.
International Caries Detection & Assessment System
Stage 0 – Is a normal, healthy tooth & does not need any treatment
Stages of Prevention
Stage 1 – Is initial stage where you see white spots on drying the tooth. This stage of tooth decay can be reversed (remineralized) by using particular in-home agents used by patient, which can reverse the process.
Stage 2 – This stage is when you see white spots without drying the tooth. This stage of tooth decay can be arrested with the use of few agents.
Stage 3 – This stage is when you see deep pits & grooves, which show some discoloration at their base. Left alone without treatment, it goes into the next stage needing filling. At this stage of tooth decay, the dentist will fill the pits & grooves with sealant materials stopping the decay process & preventing further progression of tooth decay.
Stages needing Treatment
Stage 4 – This stage shows discoloration in the pits & grooves with softness at the base due to decay. Mild cavity may be seen & this stage of tooth decay needs small fillings by the dentist.
Stage 5 – This stage shows a well formed cavity & will need a routine filling to be done by the dentist.
Stage 6 – Extensive decay touching the nerve area at the center of the tooth. This will require root canal treatment by the dentist followed by filling & crown to strengthen the tooth.
Any further progression from this stage, the tooth would require removal & replacement with artificial means.
So, it is very important for all the individuals to visit dentists every year for a check up & as soon as the decay is detected the dentist would advice appropriate prevention or treatment measures. The motto of a dentist is always to prevent tooth decay, which is possible only when the patient cooperates by maintaining good oral hygiene & early detection of decay in its first 3 stages that happens during his regular visits to the dentist. I will end this article with a saying – “Dentistry is not expensive, but the Neglect is”.