A cavity is a small or large hole inside your tooth. Usually caused by some type of decay, it may appear as a small brown spot on the outside of your tooth. A cavity can also occur inside your tooth and slowly eat through to the outside of your tooth. The method your dentist uses to fill the cavity depends on what you want done and the strength of your tooth.
Plastic, Metal and Other Fillings
When the dentist finds a cavity that needs filled, he or she will often talk with you about your options. The dentist can fill the tooth with a metal material like silver or gold. As these fillings are clearly visible, you might opt for a composite or porcelain material. Porcelain is a strong material that can hold up to most daily activities. The dentist will make a mold or impression of your mouth and let a lab make the filling. He or she will then adhere the new filling to your tooth. Composite fillings come in different colors to match your teeth and may cost less than porcelain fillings.
Extractions and Implants
While dentists can use fillings to restore smaller cavities, a larger cavity may require more work. A larger cavity can actually eat through much of your tooth and leave behind a large enough hole that a filling will not fix. If the doctor determines that your tooth has too much decay to support a filling, you may find that you need the tooth extracted. After numbing your tooth, the doctor will break and remove the old tooth. After your mouth has time to heal, the dentist can fit you for a new implant.
A cavity in your tooth can cause enough pain that it affects the way you eat or the way you talk. Make an appointment with your dentist to talk about filling the cavity or removing a seriously decayed tooth from your mouth.