Are cavities a big deal? If left untreated, they can be… Cavities are the start of tooth decay. Typically a Dental Hygienist can catch a cavity in its early stages during a regular teeth cleaning appointment. Your Hygienist can refer you to the Dentist, who can repair a small cavity with
Ignoring a cavity, however, can end up causing more trouble and costing far more than you imagined. Left untreated, a cavity can wreak havoc on your oral health.
The cost of treating a cavity is also similar, increasing along with the amount of time the cavity has been allowed to decay your tooth. To help understand how much leaving a cavity untreated could cost you, let’s go through the stages of tooth decay.
The first thing a cavity does is start to break down the hard white outer layer of your tooth. Called enamel, this outer layer is made up of calcium and other minerals.
The enamel covers the soft nerves underneath your teeth, so the reason cavities hurt is because these nerves become uncovered. A cavity-ridden tooth has no protection for these nerves, and can become extremely sensitive.
This is only in the first stage of a cavity. If caught early in the decaying process, a cavity is relatively simple to fix. All it takes is a dental filling, which restores the broken down enamel in your teeth. The cost for a filling can be several hundred dollars, depending on the number of surfaces that need to be repaired.
After the breakdown of enamel, bacteria in your mouth that are exposed to sugar and carbohydrates from your food starts to make acid that can destroy the second layer of your teeth, which also covers the nerves.
While your tooth may still salvageable at this point, instead of a basic filling, you’ll need a whole new layer cover for your tooth, or a dental crown. Crowns completely restore the function and look of your damaged teeth, but are much more costly and take up more time than a filling. A custom porcelain crown requires two appointments, and can cost several thousand dollars.
After the cavity eats away at the tooth surface covering the nerves and invades the soft part of the tooth, a root canal is necessary. A root canal can take up to two hours, and a crown is still necessary.
If your tooth is damaged or broken beyond repair, your next option is tooth extraction, a dental implant, and an implant crown. Dental implants involve several stages over several months, and can cost four to six thousand dollars.
Why would you want to let your cavity progress up to this point when you can do something about it now? Save yourself thousands of dollars and hours of treatment. Have your cavities checked out by the dentists at Midtown Dentistry today!