Wisdom tooth extraction is a very common outpatient procedure. Wisdom teeth are often the final set of molars to erupt in the mouth. Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, often appear between the ages of 17 and 21. Sometimes, impacted wisdom teeth cause discomfort and can affect your oral health. Oral surgeons or…
Ask a Family Dentist: What If I Do Not Get My Cavity Filled?
Even after you try hard to prevent tooth decay, a family dentist may still find a little cavity or two. You may be tempted to put off tooth decay treatment if your teeth do not hurt, but procrastination can lead to other serious problems. It is important to treat tooth decay early. What starts as a minor issue can become serious quickly, which can end up changing your treatment options significantly.
The importance of visiting a family dentist
The teeth are usually covered by plaque which is a sticky bacterial film. After a snack or meal, the bacteria can turn the sugars in drinks and foods into acid. The acid then ends up attacking the tooth enamel. When a person has sugary foods or drinks a number of times a day or sips on the same sugary drink for a long time, the acid will attack the tooth enamel repeatedly. The acid will eat away at the tooth and this can cause decay. A hole referred to as a cavity can then form.
When a cavity is untreated
Once a tooth is invaded, some serious problems can develop if a person does not fix the tooth. Decay can get into the nerve of the tooth and the nerve may eventually die. Then a person may need root canal treatment, which involves the removal of the dead nerve. Root canal treatment can help to save a tooth. However, a badly damaged tooth may need to be pulled and replaced.
Most times, removing a tooth should be avoided because it can create problems. When a tooth is removed and not eventually replaced, the neighboring teeth may shift. This may not only make chewing and biting hard, but it can also make it difficult to clean the teeth. Areas that are not thoroughly cleaned are highly likely to get gum disease.
People should consider tooth decay treatment even if they are not feeling any pain. If a person’s teeth do not hurt, it does not mean they are fine. In fact, by the time a person feels pain, the problem is more serious. Pain may be an indicator that the nerve of the tooth has become involved. In such cases, instead of a simple filling, other treatment options such as a root canal may be recommended.
Treatment will depend on how bad the cavity is. In most cases, the dentist removes the portion of the tooth that has decayed with a drill. The hole will be filled with a filling made either of gold, silver alloy, composite resin or porcelain. Crowns can be used in cases where a tooth is decayed to the extent that not much of it remains. The dentist will remove and repair the damaged part. The dentist will then fit a crown over the rest of the tooth.
A dentist may recommend a root canal if the root or pulp of the tooth is either dead or injured to a degree that it cannot be repaired. The dentist will remove the nerve, tissue and blood vessels together with the decayed portions of the tooth. The roots will then be filled with a sealing material. A patient may need a crown over the tooth which has been filled.
Visit your dentist regularly
Visiting your family dentist on a regular basis is highly advisable. During a regular dental checkup, your dentist can determine whether you have a cavity that should be filled. After cavities start, they do not go away. It is important to have them fixed before more serious problems develop.
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