About Cavity Fillings and the Alternative Options For Cavities
Getting cavity fillings in Webster may not be something you’re not looking forward to due to costs or discomfort. However, filling a cavity is actually a quick and relatively painless procedure and can effectively prevent the decay from worsening.
Still, if you’re looking for other solutions and wondering if cavities can go away without fillings, you may have other options.
Is a Dental Filling Always Necessary for Cavities?
No, a filling isn’t always necessary for cavities. As the name indicates, a dental filling serves to “fill” the space where the decay was after a dentist removes it. This also prevents more damage from occurring.
If you want to have a cavity removed, a filling is necessary. But there are other ways to reverse the decay.
Alternative Options for Cavities
If you want to try to reverse the decay instead of getting a cavity removed and filled, here are your options:
In its early stages, a fluoride treatment can effectively treat a cavity. This treatment stops the progression of the decay and may be able to reverse the damage, restoring tooth enamel in the process. Fluoride treatments are available at a dentist’s office, but you can also use toothpaste and mouthwash with a high fluoride concentration to protect your oral health.
Dental sealants go on teeth to protect them from cavities. This clear, resin coating seals the tooth’s exterior and protects it from damage and decay. Dental sealants are often used on molars, which need more protection in their role in chewing and grinding food. Sealants may be applied to teeth showing early signs of decay in order to stop its progression, but that’s only effective in the very early stages.
What is a Cavity?
Cavities are holes or structural damage to a tooth caused by tooth decay. Anyone can get cavities, but they’re more common in children and young adults.
If you do not brush bacteria accumulate on your teeth to form plaque within twelve hours. Plaque can proliferate on the back molars, along the gum line, and around fillings. If it’s not removed, it hardens into tartar and can lead to cavities and gum disease.
Bacteria in your mouth change residual food left on your teeth, such as sugars and starch, into acid. The acids in plaque damage the enamel covering your teeth, leading to cavities. These may not cause pain at first, but they can compromise the tooth’s structure or affect nerves as they grow larger.1 A cavity may cause tooth sensitivity or a tooth fracture with pain and loss of normal chewing function.
What Happens If You Don’t Treat a Cavity?
Over time, an untreated cavity can lead to an infection, called a tooth abscess, that can be painful and may require a root canal treatment or tooth extraction.2 During a root canal treatment, the tooth pulp and its nerve are removed and replaced with a rubbery sealing material. Then your dentist will top the remaining tooth with a dental crown.3
Tooth extraction is when a dentist removes the entire tooth. Then, you’re left with a space where the tooth was or the option to have a dental bridge or dental implant to replace it.4 5 These are more extensive procedures used to restore your teeth’ look and function, and they each have their pros and cons.
Both root canal treatments and tooth extractions are more extensive and expensive than a simple dental filling. A filling also saves the decaying tooth. While a filling may not be something you want, it is a less involved dental procedure than the choices you will have should you continue to ignore the filling or wait to have it fixed.
Consult Empire Dental Care for Cavity Fillings in Webster
Though you may have other options for cavity fillings in the early stages, the best solution is to fill your cavity to prevent further decay and damage to your teeth. At Empire Dental Care, we offer plenty of options to treat cavities. Contact us online or call us at 585-671-1650 to schedule your consultation!