We all dread those words from our dentist, “you have a cavity.” If you have tooth decay, the next step is to repair it. Unless the decay is extensive, this usually involves a simple dental filling. This is a time-tested procedure in which your dentist will use tooth-colored composite resin to fill the area of decay within your tooth enamel. Dental fillings are typically scheduled for a return dental visit after the cavity has been detected. This leads many patients wondering just how long they can wait or put off this necessary treatment.
How a Cavity Forms
A cavity is essentially a hole in a tooth that has been created due to poor oral hygiene habits as well as a high intake of sugary or carb-rich foods. When sugars combine with the bacteria in our mouths, it produces harmful acids that erode our tooth enamel. A cavity develops when these acids create a tiny hole in the tooth.
Not only are cavities preventable, but they can also be detected at a very early stage when you are attending your six-month dental checkups. The earlier a cavity is detected, the more conservatively it can be treated. Once decay has progressed, it is common to experience symptoms such as toothache, sensitivity, pain when biting down or discoloration. In general, when a cavity has grown large enough to cause symptoms, it demands prompt treatment.
Why You Shouldn’t Wait
It’s common for people to feel like they can put off filling a dental cavity, especially if the decayed tooth is not causing pain or sensitivity. However, if a filling is delayed for too long, a small cavity can grow larger and even cause consequences to your neighboring teeth and overall oral health.
Don’t make the mistake of believing that a cavity can be “cured” or reversed with better brushing habits. A dental filling (or other professional treatment) is the only way to properly restore a decayed tooth.
When the cavity is left untreated, it can move down into the inner layers of your tooth. If severe, it can even reach the tooth nerves. Once the nerves are impacted, your cavity will likely need a root canal and dental crown. This is a more costly and time-consuming procedure compared to a simple dental filling.
Schedule Your Cavity Repair Today
If you’ve been told you need a dental filling, our best advice is not to delay the inevitable. Scheduling your dental filling in a timely manner can save you from the cost and discomfort of advanced decay. Tooth loss is not out of the realm of possibilities if you neglect cavity repair for an extensive amount of time. Contact Avalon Dental Group today to schedule your dental filling in Sugar Land.