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Still Putting Off That Filling? Here’s What Could Happen

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Maybe you have a sensitive tooth. Or maybe you were told at your last dental cleaning that you have a cavity that needs to be filled, but you just haven’t had the time to book that appointment. Life gets busy, and unless it’s an emergency, it’s easy to put off what may seem like a non-essential dental appointment. However, in the case of a cavity, that would be a big mistake.

On the fun scale, having a cavity filled lies somewhere between sitting in traffic and filing taxes. But even worse than a filling is visiting your periodontist in Toronto for a root canal or tooth extraction.

Why Getting a Cavity Filled is so Important

Dental fillings are not just suggested procedures – if your dentist has identified a cavity, the time to get it fixed is right away. Why is it so important? Left unchecked, bacteria causing tooth decay can quickly spread from one tooth to surrounding teeth. You’ll no longer be dealing with one small cavity; instead, you could be looking at several large ones.

A tooth has three layers. The top or outer layer is the enamel, the middle layer is the dentin, and the deepest layer houses the nerve tissue. Cavities generally affect the first layer, the enamel, and sometimes the spread to the second layer.

In these cases, your dentist can usually prevent further tooth decay by cleaning out the bacteria and sealing the hole with a filling. For severe cavities, ones where the majority of the tooth structure has been compromised, you may require a dental crown, a permanent shell secured over top of your existing tooth.

But, if the tooth decay continues to spread and reaches the deepest layer of the tooth where the nerve tissue is, you have a bigger problem. Instead of a simple filling, you could be booking an appointment with your periodontist in Toronto for a root canal or possibly even a tooth extraction.

Once the infection has reached the nerve of the tooth, a filling is no longer possible. The only way for your periodontist to get rid of all the infection is to remove the nerve. Once the canal of the infected tooth has been cleaned, the tooth will be sealed, similar to a dental filling.

When faced with the choice of a 30-minute filling or a root canal, getting that cavity taken care of is probably sounding pretty good.