What if My Cavity Is Too Large for a Filling?


Most people have experienced a cavity in at least one of their teeth, or will at some point in their lifetimes, and treating the cavity will depend on what stage it is in. As a progressive issue, the tooth decay that causes cavities grows worse the longer it is left untreated. Therefore, patients with more severe cavities need more involved restorative treatment to repair their teeth. While tooth fillings are typically highly successful at treating mild to moderate cavities, your dentist will have to suggest another option if your cavity is too large for a filling.

The Growth of a Cavity

A cavity is essentially a hole in your tooth that develops as decay erodes your tooth structure. The more decay advances, the more of your tooth structure it erodes and the larger the cavity grows. In some cases, decay can be caught at its earliest stages, when bacteria weaken your tooth enamel, and reversed before a cavity develops. If the decay reaches your tooth’s main structure, called dentin, then a filling can replace the lost tooth structure after your dentist has cleaned the cavity of bacteria and infection. However, if it reaches the tooth’s center chamber, called the pulp, a filling may no longer suffice to address it.

In Severe Cases of Tooth Decay

The pulp chamber of your tooth is connected to the root canal that is held firmly in place within your jawbone. The root canal carries nutrients from your jawbone to your tooth, but if the pulp becomes infected, it can also carry harmful oral bacteria back to your jawbone. In such severe cases, your dentist can recommend root canal therapy to remove the deep infection and restore your tooth’s health, strength, and integrity.

Find Out How to Treat Your Cavity

If your tooth develops a cavity, then find out how we can treat it to save the rest of its healthy structure. To learn more, schedule your appointment by calling Keelan Dental in Butler, PA, today at (724) 285-4153. Our Smile Certified experts happily serve patients from Butler, Cranberry Township, Mars, Pittsburgh, Butler County, and all surrounding communities.