It is important to have restorative work on a tooth with a cavity performed as soon as possible, as waiting leaves that cavity more time to grow. Tooth decay begins on the surface of your tooth, but it will work its way through until it attacks the living tissue in the pulp. It can even spread further by passing through the root. If your dentist has the opportunity to remove the infection from your tooth, that spread stops. You can have the lost material replaced so that your tooth can still function properly after treatment.
A root canal is not for every cavity. This procedure is relied upon when decay has made its way into the center of your tooth. Your dentist will access this area, and take out infected living tissue in order to save the tooth.
When a cavity is small enough, you will have enough healthy tooth remaining after treatment for a filling to restore your tooth. Your dentist can use composite resin, which bonds directly to your surrounding enamel. This material mimics its appearance, so that it does not detract from your smile.
A dental crown can restore a tooth after a severe cavity is treated. Crowns are commonly relied upon to protect teeth that have received a root canal, as this procedure can require your dentist to excise a notable amount of the tooth. Crowns enable your dentist to spare your tooth after it has been stricken with a serious cavity.