Although the best way to manage cavities is to do so by preventing them, nearly all adults will have experienced at least one cavity by the time they reach their early 20’s. Cavities can be solved through a dental filling, which is a pain-free restoration of the decayed tooth through the removal of the damaged tissue and refilling of the hole left behind. The painless nature of the procedure along with the short recovery period lets you eat, speak, and go back to your daily life very quickly after having it done.
Are Fillings Necessary?
Getting a cavity filled promptly is the easiest and most painless way to treat a cavity. One of the most common dental procedures, fillings are also among the most important. Even if your cavity isn’t causing pain or sensitivity, it’s still important to address the issue as quickly as possible. For most patients, however, the presence of a cavity will make itself known through pain or sensation in the tooth.
Through a dental exam, oral exam, and x-ray analysis, a dentist can diagnose a cavity. Some cavities are so small that they are invisible to the untrained eye, or so big that they can be seen during the visual exam alone. Most insurance plans will assist with at least part of the cost of having a cavity filled.
How Does it Work?
Your dentist will begin the filling procedure by taking away the decayed material from the cavity. This is done through the use of a precise drill. Then the space left behind will be shaped and prepared.
This will be followed by the restoration of the tooth with a composite material. Finally, the cavity is sealed with a replacement material that is colored to match your teeth to keep the area safe from any penetration.
In total, this takes only about twenty to thirty minutes, and you are given a topical anesthetic to numb the area and keep the procedure pain free. Once completed, the tooth will look the same as your other teeth. You may feel sensitivity directly following the filling, but this should fade away along with the anesthetic. For some patients, a follow-up appointment is required to reshape a filling and make sure your bite is properly aligned.
What are the Risks of not Filling a Cavity?
Quick response to a cavity is recommended so that it doesn’t develop into a larger, more painful issue. A cavity is essentially a hole in your tooth and delaying a filling can make it grow deeper. Once the cavity deepens far enough, you may find yourself needing a painful root canal, crown, or even extraction in order to restore your tooth.
Additionally, an untreated cavity can lead to an infection. Should bacteria and food particles get trapped in the cavity, an infection is likely to occur. Pain and sensitivity become more common with a worsening cavity because the center of the tooth is now exposed.
This then can eventually lead to an abscessed tooth, which is a pocket of pus that forms as a result of a bacterial infection. An abscessed tooth generally causes serious pain that can radiate from your mouth to your ears and neck and can even turn into a life-threatening condition.
The goal of our office is to provide each patient with a comfortable, high-quality dental visit, with a focus on thorough exams and informed answers to make your health decisions easier. We do our absolute best to provide all of our clients with a hassle-free appointment every time you visit.