The bad thing about a cavity is that the tooth decay behind it can cause more damage to your tooth than you realize. Unfortunately, this damage to your tooth structure is permanent, as your tooth won’t heal or regrow any of the structure that it loses. However, the reason cavities don’t often cause significant damage is because they’re often treated, or fixed, with a conservative tooth filling before they have a chance to. Today, we look at how a tooth filling can fix a cavity and help you preserve the healthy, natural tooth structure that still remains.
The nature of cavity formation
A cavity is a sign and consequence of tooth decay, which describes the infection that forms when oral bacteria overwhelm a tooth’s defenses and reach its vulnerable main structure. Because any form of tooth damage is permanent, the best way to protect your tooth from a cavity is to prevent oral bacteria from getting the chance to infect it. The process starts when bacteria form plaque and cling to your teeth’s surfaces, making it easier for them to release acids onto your tooth enamel. As they do, the acids weaken and compromise the enamel, which leaves the main part of your tooth structure (called the dentin) exposed and vulnerable to infection.
Before the filling is placed
When oral bacteria infect your tooth structure, the decay doesn’t take long to progress. As it does, it erodes the healthy structure of the tooth’s dentin, and the resulting depression in the tooth structure is known as the cavity. The point of a tooth filling is to restore the tooth structure, which first requires removing the harmful bacteria and infected dentin from within the cavity. This will stop it from growing larger and the decay from progressing further, but will also leave your tooth without part of its healthy, natural structure.
What a filling does for your tooth
After a tooth cavity has been cleaned, a custom, biocompatible filling can be placed within it, replacing the lost tooth structure and protecting what remains from harmful bacteria in the future. Because the nature of tooth decay is progressive, a filling can be necessary to prevent the cavity from affecting increasingly more of your tooth structure. For optimal results, modern tooth fillings can also be custom-tinted to match the color and appearance of the healthy tooth structure surrounding them. As a tooth-colored filling protects and preserves your tooth, it can also blend in with its appearance to remain discreet.
Learn how tooth fillings fix cavities
A cavity can cause permanent damage to your tooth structure, but the right custom tooth filling can fix your tooth and preserve its long-term heath and integrity. To learn more, schedule an appointment with us by calling Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS, today at 913-681-5500.