Is Filling Your Cavity Enough to Save Your Tooth?

At least once in their lives, most people will have to (or already have had to) deal with a cavity in one of their teeth. Despite the fact that cavities, and mainly the tooth decay behind them, are largely preventable, it doesn’t take much for oral bacteria to grow numerous enough to infect your tooth structure. Fortunately, cavities can often be treated successfully and with minimal permanent changes to your tooth with a customizable tooth filling. However, not all cavities can be treated with a filling, and if you hesitate or allow your tooth decay to get worse, then it might not be enough to successfully save your tooth.

The stages of having a cavity

While having a cavity doesn’t severely impact most people’s oral health after they’ve developed one, that’s only because most people treat their cavities before they have a chance to grow more severe. Tooth decay is a progressive issue, which means it only needs time to grow worse. As it does, the cavity in your tooth will grow larger, meaning more of your tooth’s structure has decayed. The longer this occurs, the greater the chance that the decay will reach the tooth’s inner chambers, at which point you may no longer benefit from just filling the cavity in your tooth’s main structure.

What a filling can accomplish for you

Today’s tooth fillings are often crafted from a highly biocompatible material known as tooth-colored composite resin, which offers highly lifelike and durable results for restoring your tooth. After thoroughly cleaning the cavity, your dentist can apply the tooth-colored resin inside of it, which then conforms precisely to the shape of the cavity. After the resin is hardened, it creates a discreet and highly effective restoration that fortifies your tooth and protects it from any further harm by oral bacteria. However, a tooth filling is only successful if the decay in your tooth only affects its main structure, known as the dentin.

If a filling isn’t enough for your tooth decay

As tooth decay progresses, its natural course is toward the center of your tooth structure, which is where the pulp chamber lies. Inside of this chamber, your tooth’s nerves, blood vessels, and other soft tissues run through the root canal that’s connected to the chamber and into your jawbone structure. An infection within this chamber can cause significant discomfort and threaten your oral health to a much more severe degree. It will also make it impossible for a tooth filling to successfully save your tooth, and you may need root canal treatment to preserve what remains of your healthy, natural tooth structure.

Learn how to save your tooth from a cavity

If you treat it early enough, then a conservative, tooth-colored filling could be the best way to treat your cavity. To learn more, schedule an appointment or initial consultation by calling Advanced Dental Concepts in Auburn Hills, MI, today at (248) 852-1820.