Why Don’t Fillings Always Work Against Tooth Decay?

If you’ve ever had a cavity and treated it with a tooth filling, then you might be surprised when you develop another and your dentist tells you that a filling won’t work this time. While custom-made fillings are appropriate for most mild to moderate cavities, more severe forms of tooth decay can’t be resolved with them. At our Southlake, TX, dental office, we offer a range of options for treating tooth decay at any stage, and for restoring your tooth’s good health before it’s too late.

The Nature of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay describes an infection that starts with some of the bacteria found in dental plaque. They create acids by metabolizing sugar and carbs, then use those acids to weaken your tooth enamel. Once the main structure of your tooth becomes infected, the decay will continue to consume more of it until your dentist stops it and restores your tooth.

When a Filling Is the Best Option

Tooth fillings are designed to replace the tooth structure that you lose to decay and protect the tooth from further infection. This is most appropriate while the decay is still confined to the main portion of your tooth’s crown, known as the dentin. Once decay surpasses the dentin and enters the tooth’s pulp chamber, it becomes too severe for a filling to address.

Your Options for More Severe Decay

An infected tooth pulp, also known as internal tooth decay, causes much more severe discomfort than a regular cavity and requires more involved treatment to address it. For example, your dentist can perform root canal therapy to remove the infected tissues and tooth structure from the pulp and the root canal connected to it. The tooth can be restored by filling and sealing the roots, pulp chamber, and cavity, then placing a crown over the tooth for optimal protection.

Learn How Best to Treat Your Tooth Decay

Whether minor, moderate, or major, your tooth decay can be addressed and your tooth saved with an appropriate restorative treatment. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Gregory Wright, DDS in Southlake, TX today at (817) 481-7999. We also proudly serve patients who live in Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities.