When it comes to treating most dental health concerns, the earlier you address it, the better. For example, when you develop a cavity in your tooth, your dentist may recommend filling it with a biocompatible material to stop it from getting worse. If it’s allowed to progress further, however, the tooth decay that causes the cavity can affect more of your tooth’s structure, and before long, a filling will no longer work to successfully restore your tooth. Today, we examine why it’s important to fill a cavity, and what you can avoid if you seek treatment early enough.
When cavities are still in their early stages
A mild cavity doesn’t always seem like a significant problem. It may cause your tooth to feel sensitive at first, but the sensitivity is often minor compared to the pain of more serious decay. A cavity occurs when oral bacteria infect your natural tooth structure, but first, the bacteria must erode the enamel surrounding the tooth. Once the infection develops, the rate at which it can erode your healthy tooth structure will determine how quickly the cavity grows. Because of this, a cavity can become a much more serious case of tooth decay before you realize it.
How filling a cavity restores the tooth
The good news is that most cavities can be stopped before this level of progression occurs. If you visit your dentist when your tooth starts to feel sensitive and detect the cavity early, then your dentist may be able to fill the cavity in a conservative procedure that removes the infection and restores the tooth’s structure. A custom-designed tooth filling restores the tooth by restoring the structure that the decay has eroded, as well as protecting the exposed part of the tooth from harmful bacteria in the future.
What the right tooth filling helps you prevent
Filling a cavity is the only way to alleviate the toothache that it causes, and it’s the most effective way to preserve the rest of your healthy, natural tooth structure. This can help you avoid the need for more extensive treatment to address a more serious case of tooth decay in the future. For instance, if the cavity progresses enough that the decay infects the tooth’s pulp and root canal, then root canal treatment might be necessary in order to save the tooth.
Save your tooth by filling a cavity early
A cavity poses a continuous, progressively worse threat to your oral health, and treating it early is the best way to mitigate that threat. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Allen & Neumann Family Dentistry in Pella, IA, today at (641) 628-1121.