If you have a cavity and need treatment, then you are probably asking the same question that most patients wonder: are cavities permanent? Cavities are common, which is why dental experts have worked hard to develop treatment methods that offer long-term results. The good news is that these treatments can be used to restore your smile and prevent the spread of tooth decay. But there are a few things that you need to know about how these treatment work and what you can expect in the future.
Can Cavities Be Permanently Fixed?
First of all, it’s important to understand the difference between cavities and fillings. A cavity is a portion of the tooth that is damaged due to tooth decay. This damaged area will continue to spread and worsen if it is left untreated.
On the other hand, a filling is the treatment that is used when a cavity is removed. The dentist will drill the tooth to take away all of the decayed areas of the tooth. Then, a filling can be placed to restore the tooth and fill in the gap where the tooth decay was removed.
The good news is that a filling for cavity treatment is considered a long-lasting solution. But this treatment probably won’t last the rest of your life. The durability of the filling depends on the materials that are used, the skill of the dentist, and other lifestyle factors. If you take care of a filling, then it can last for 10 years or more!
It’s true that a cavity can be fixed, but it isn’t a permanent solution that guarantee you will never have problems with that tooth again. You need to be consistent about brushing and flossing regularly to prevent the tooth from decaying again.
How Long Does Cavity Treatment Last?
Is a cavity filling permanent? Technically, no. Most cavity treatments (known as fillings) will last for years, but the exact amount of time varies from patient to patient.
Generally, the anticipated lifespan for a filling is 5 – 10 years. But many people have fillings that last longer because they are diligent with their oral health care and maintenance.
Cavity fillings are made with composite resin that withstands the regular wear and tear your teeth are experiencing on a daily basis. But if you have severe pressure or constant grating (such as what might happen if someone has TMJ), then it could result in faster wear and tear on the filling.
How Often Do Fillings Need to Be Replaced?
A filling only needs to be replaced when the dentist determines that there are issues or problems with the current filling. One obvious reason is because the filling has become dislodged. In this situation, it’s important to schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible. If the tooth is exposed because the filling is missing, then it means that your tooth is more vulnerable to dental dangers and tooth decay.
Another motivation for replacing dental fillings is if you have old silver (amalgam) fillings in your mouth. Patients are learning more about how the mercury in these fillings can impact overall health. Even though amalgam was considered a permanent cavity filling a long time ago, many dentists are now recommending that these fillings are replaced with modern materials due to the health risks.
When is it Too Late for Tooth Filling?
A tooth filling is one of the most common treatments for tooth decay, because it is a simple and effective solution for restoring the tooth. Not only should you ask your dental if the cavity filling is permanent, but you’ll also need to know if a filling will be sufficient for the treatment that you need.
If you have a cavity and you ignore it for too long, then the decay will spread to other areas of the tooth. The best solution is to seek early treatment whenever possible. Filling a cavity in the early stages means there will be less damage to your tooth.
But there are times when it is too late for a tooth filling due to the size of the filling. Small and moderately sized areas of dental decay can be repaired with a standard filling. But areas that are too large or too deep might require a more intensive treatment, such as a crown or bridge. In severe situations, a root canal or tooth extraction might be necessary.
It’s never too late for dental care. But there are times when it might be too late for a filling because of the way the decay has progressed.
Can Cavities Come Back After Filling?
When a cavity is treated and filled by an experienced dentist, then you can have confidence in knowing that the tooth has been treated and the same cavity won’t come back. But if you continue with poor oral habits going forward, then it’s possible for another cavity to form. The filling materials won’t decay, but the surrounding tooth can be at risk of decay based on lifestyle factors.
For example, it’s possible to develop another cavity near the filling. A different area of the tooth can develop tooth decay that is unrelated to the original filling. In this situation, the tooth might need to be retreated with a different filling.
One of the risks of filings happens when the dentist doesn’t remove all of the decayed portion of the tooth. If the dentist drills the tooth and accidentally leaves part of the decay behind, then it could result in bigger issues in the future. The filling is placed over the leftover decay, causing the tooth to continue rotting on the inside, even though the filling is covering the outside area of the tooth.
Are Cavities Permanent? Talk to the Experts
If you are wondering whether your tooth can be treated with fillings, then it’s time to reach out to the experts for more information. Our team at myDental is here to help with all of your dental needs. Our family-focused dental team is committed to offering safe, quality dental care to every patient. Book an appointment your location of choice. Call our office if you have questions or need more information.