Tooth IllA cavity (or tooth decay) can be compared to an infection. It is composed of harmful bacteria that, combined with an acid environment, use sugar to attack the hard tissue of teeth (enamel and dentin). With time this creates a little hole in a tooth, and if not repaired with a filling, the cavity will simply continue to grow.

If a cavity is not treated it can destroy a good part of the tooth, making it hard to be restored with a conventional filling. If a lot of the tooth is gone, only a dental crown can fix it.

If the decay’s bacteria reach the pulp chamber, where the nerve and blood vessels are located, then the pulp becomes irritated and infected. This can eventually lead to an abscess, which can be very painful. Only a root canal can fix a tooth when its pulp is infected, and a crown is then probably needed as a final restoration.

There are also situations where a tooth is so much destroyed by a cavity that nothing can be done to fix it, not even a root canal and a crown. In that case the tooth would sadly need to be extracted.

A root canal and a crown are expensive treatments. Replacing a missing tooth can even be pricier. That is why it is recommended to go for regular dental checkups, every six months. A cavity that is detected early can be treated and will do less damage for your tooth and your wallet!

The information above should be used as a reference only. Any medical decision should not be taken before consulting a health care professional.

The masculine gender may have been more used in the article, but without prejudice, to make reading easier.

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