The Importance of Having your Cavities Filled

Even if you brush and floss religiously, doing your best to have pristine teeth and perfect oral health, you’re likely to one day have a cavity. If this happens, don’t delay treatment. It’s important to get any cavities filled as soon as possible, for many reasons.

  • Tooth decay, left to its own devices, will spread. If you ignore a cavity, the decay will soon spread to the area around the cavity. Then you’ll not only have a bigger cavity than you originally had, but you may also have additional cavities as well. Getting it filled will solve the problem and keep the damage from spreading.
  • Bacteria from a cavity is unlikely to stay in your mouth. An unhealthy tooth won’t just affect nearby teeth: it will spread bacteria as far as it can. Bacteria in your mouth is not ideal, but once it gets into your bloodstream and makes its way to other parts of the body, it can be extremely dangerous.
  • Fillings keep your smile intact. If you don’t get a cavity filled in a timely manner, you may end up having to have the tooth removed entirely. Dental implants can solve the problem of missing teeth, but they’re much more expensive than fillings and require a much more complicated process. You’ll have a hole in your smile until you can get the implant, and this can compromise the bone in your jaw.

Those are pretty compelling reasons to get your cavities filled, but did you know there are different types of fillings? Each material used in fillings has its pros and cons, and your dentist will be able to help you determine which is right for you.

  • Amalgam fillings have been around for over a century. They’re strong and ideal for cavities in the molars, because they can take the impact of chewing. Made of a combination of several metallic elements, they are sometimes visible when you laugh or smile, but they’re some of the least expensive cavity-filling materials.
  • The other most common filling material is composite fillings. Sometimes called composite or filled resins, they’re made of a combination of glass or quartz filler. They can be made to match the color of your tooth, and they’re good in areas involved in moderate chewing.
  • Metals, ceramic, and glass ionomer are also used as fillings. Gold and silver are often used, and these metallic fillings can last 10-15 years. Ceramic or porcelain fillings are attractive but expensive, and glass ionomer fillings can release fluoride to protect teeth but are less durable than other fillings.

At Park 56 Dental Group, we provide personalized, quality dental care, offering pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, in a patient-centered practice with hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation by contacting us online or calling (212) 826-2322.

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