Seeing The Dentist: How Long Can I Put Off Having A Cavity Filled?

Dentist Blog

Some people put off getting a cavity filled because the cost just isn't in the budget right now and others put off the procedure due to fear. No one wants to endure a painful cavity if they don't have to, but it is tricky to determine exactly how long you can wait before taking care of this issue.

New Technology

The new technology that dentists use allows them to spot a cavity long before it causes issues. Generally, it takes about 5 years from the time a cavity first appears before the individual feels any pain or starts having problems with the tooth.

Is the Procedure Absolutely Necessary?

If the cavity is detected in its earliest stages, it is sometimes possible to reverse the decay. Typically, this involves making the enamel stronger on the affected tooth. You can do this by undergoing fluoride therapy. The therapy will not reverse the cavity on its own though. The patient must also make changes to his or her diet and the way they take care of their teeth. Proper oral hygiene is vital if the individual wants to avoid a filling.

Symptoms That Indicate a Filling is Necessary

Pain in your tooth indicates that the cavity has advanced to a stage where a filling is mandatory to correct the problem. An obvious cavity is another reason many patients go ahead and get the cavity filled, since the decay is often unsightly and can weaken the tooth.

Placing Trust in Your Dentist

Your dentist is the best judge of whether a cavity needs to be filled right away or if you can wait a few months or even a year or longer to take care of it. The decay eventually makes a small hole in your tooth. It gets bigger as time goes by. Food debris is sticky and can be difficult to remove from the hole. Eventually, the hole is large enough for pieces of food to be trapped in the cavity. The saliva in your mouth carries this decay to teeth that are beside or opposite the one where the cavity exists. This can result in even more cavities and dental work in your future. Therefore, the dread of the dental work and the cost increases.

If you visit your general dentist twice annually, he or she will be able to take care of any issues that present themselves before they become more serious. Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime and ignoring a problem is often not the best option. 


14 September 2015

Getting Your Toddler to the Dentist Once and For All

Toddlers should see a dentist for the first time by the age of twelve months or by the time their first tooth comes in. But if you are a parent with toddlers anything like mine, the prospect of going to the dentist (let alone anywhere!) can be pretty intimidating. My kids were a handful growing up. They had tantrums any time we would have to sit in a waiting room, and they refused to get in the dentist's chair during their first few visits. So, I had to employ a professional to help me make the transition to finally getting them in that dental chair without all the screaming and crying. I know I'm not the only parent in this situation, so I decided to share the information I've learned with others who can use a little help. You can find all my advice right here on these pages!