In as little as six months, a cavity can form in your mouth. This is why the American Dental Association suggests a checkup and cleaning once every six months or sooner. Thankfully, cavities are preventable. If you can discipline yourself enough to be able to brush and floss your teeth multiple times a day, it is likely that you will avoid all future cavities. However, most people, unfortunately, get too busy and forget to care for their oral health.
Once a cavity is formed, what can you do? The answer is that there are many procedures that your dentist can use to correct your cavity depending on your desires and the severity of the cavity.
For people with mild cavities, a simple dental filling can be the answer. Your dentist will clean out the cavity and remove all infection. Once the area is properly cleaned they can go forward with filling the cavity with a filling material. This material can be different depending on your preferences. Many people prefer a tooth colored resin over a traditional amalgam filling because it is more attractive.
If your cavity is more severe, however, your dentist will have to choose between a few other procedures. Inlays, onlays, a root canal, or a dental crown, are all viable options for more severe cavities. An inlay would be the least invasive and least serious corrective procedure between the above-mentioned procedures. Essentially, an inlay is a larger filling that fills up to the cusps, or ridges, of your teeth. An onlay is similar except that it covers over the top of those ridges on your teeth, and is used for situations with slightly more damage.
To put it simply, there are many things that your dentist can choose to do to correct a cavity once it has formed. The procedure that your dentist chooses will greatly depend on the severity of your cavity. The lesson that you can learn here is that the sooner you see the dentist the better! It can be the difference between a simple filling and a root canal or tooth extraction.