Being told that you have a cavity isn’t like being told that you need to have a tooth extracted or some other, more invasive procedure. In fact, most common cavities can often be treated with a conservative, tooth-colored filling in just a single day. However, the tooth decay behind your cavity’s development is very serious, and if given time, it can become severe enough to lead to tooth loss, and more. If you have a cavity, then we advise seeking treatment to fill it as soon as possible to avoid its more serious potential consequences.
What a cavity means for your tooth
The reason cavities don’t seem too serious to many people is because they don’t realize exactly what they are, or what causes them. A cavity is a small depression, or hole, in your tooth structure that forms when the tooth becomes infected. Harmful oral bacteria can erode the protective enamel around the tooth, then slip underneath it to infect your tooth’s main structure. Known as tooth decay, this infection is progressive. It will continue to grow worse over time, and as it does, the cavity that it leaves in its wake will affect increasingly more of your healthy tooth structure.
It only takes a little time
When it comes to your dental health, things change quickly over time. When it comes to your tooth decay, those changes mean increasingly greater danger to your tooth and oral health. You may not always notice your tooth decay’s progression, and what’s only a minor cavity during one dental visit can become severe, internal tooth decay by the time your next scheduled visit comes around. Treating your cavity as soon as possible doesn’t just keep your treatment minimal, it also helps you save more of your healthy, natural tooth structure from the grips of destructive tooth decay.
What happens if you wait too long?
Tooth fillings are the most common treatment for cavities because they’re usually detected and treated in their early stages. This means they can be addressed before they cause significant damage to your healthy tooth structure. However, in more severe cases of tooth decay, saving the tooth may require root canal treatment, which involves removing infected tissues and nerves from within the tooth’s pulp chamber and root canal. The procedure involves modifying more of your health tooth structure, as well, which can leave it weaker and in need of a dental crown for additional support.
Fill your cavity and save your tooth
Cavities might not seem serious at first, but the longer you wait to treat it with a filling, the more likely you’ll need more extensive treatment by the time you visit your dentist. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Peddicord Family Dentistry in Ankeny, IA, today at (515) 963-3339. We also proudly serve patients of all ages who live in Bondurant, Polk City, Elkhart, Alleman, Cambridge, and all surrounding communities.