Brushing and flossing your teeth every day are essential habits for cavity prevention. However, despite our best efforts, cavities can still sometimes happen. They are incredibly common and, when dealt with early, are easy to treat. Fern Creek Dentistry can help to treat a cavity in your tooth with a filling.
Why Do I Need to Have a Cavity Filled?
Filling a cavity is necessary for protecting your tooth and your oral health. A cavity develops when acids from bacteria erode your tooth enamel. Over time, this causes a hole to develop. Without treatment, decay continues to happen, eating away more and more of your tooth. This can lead to significant damage. It can also weaken the tooth significantly. You may develop an infection, which would then require a root canal. In cases of severe decay, an extraction may even become necessary.
What’s the Process Like?
Most cavities are treated with fillings. A filling functions to fill the hole left behind by the decay, restoring the strength to your tooth and keeping it safe from further harm. Before placing your filling, we first need to eliminate the decay as well as the bacteria causing it. This process involves drilling away the decayed portion of your tooth. Next, the filling material is placed inside the hole. There are a few different types of materials that are used for treating cavities, the most common being amalgam and composite resin. After the material is applied, it is smoothed, hardened, and polished.
What if I Have a More Significant Amount of Decay?
While fillings can treat most cavities, a more significant amount of decay may require a different treatment. In cases of significant decay, a filling may not be enough. Trying to fill a large cavity with a filling can put the tooth at risk for further harm.
The type of treatment you receive for larger decay will depend on how much decay has occurred and where it is located. For larger amounts of decay on the chewing surface of a molar, an onlay may be recommended. Also called a partial crown, an onlay helps to treat cavities that have affected the cusps of your molar. Another type of treatment for larger decay is a crown. This covers the entire tooth. When there is too much decay to be effectively treated, an extraction may be recommended.
Can a Cavity be Treated without a Filling?
A cavity forms because of decay. When decay first develops, it appears as a weak spot in the enamel. The early stages of decay can often be reversed without a filling. This may be possible with improved oral hygiene, using fluoride toothpaste, and getting fluoride treatments. These methods can help to restore strength to the tooth, eliminating the decay. However, once a hole has developed in your tooth, it cannot be reversed. Instead, treatment is needed to stop the spread and protect the tooth from potentially serious harm.
A filling is an effective treatment for stopping the growth of a cavity and restoring your oral health. Call Fern Creek Dentistry at (704) 380-9555 to schedule your appointment today.