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What Happens if You Delay a Filling?

What Happens if You Delay a Filling?

So, you have a cavity — or maybe more than one. It’s not the information you wanted to get when you visited the dentist’s office, but maybe you’re considering putting off filling your cavity until a later date. In truth, getting them filled as soon as you can is crucial. 

At Downtown Dental Studio, we recommend taking care of problems before they can worsen, which is why we try to get our cavity patients back as soon as possible for their filling appointment.   

Our providers, Fadi Beydoun, DMD, MS, Alexander Kimon, DMD, and Karina Zaygermakher, DMD, believe in filling cavities sooner rather than later and avoiding any additional problems that can come with them. We also offer plenty of financing options when payment is a concern to ensure you get treated. 

Fillings are a necessary treatment for cavities 

Cavities are sometimes called caries. They are damage that develops when tooth decay creates holes in your enamel. When you have a cavity, you need to have it filled. This is the necessary treatment. 

Fillings require your dentist to fill the holes in your enamel to strengthen and protect the original tooth. It doesn’t involve removing the tooth but simply drilling out the decayed portion and fortifying the rest. Fillings are made of different substances, including porcelain, glass ionomer, resins, or a dental amalgam. 

Why someone might delay a filling

We understand. You have a busy life and feel like getting your teeth filled isn’t your number one priority. Often, people put off filling their cavities because they don’t understand the urgency of the issue. 

Another reason someone might put off getting a cavity filled is that they’re nervous about the procedure. It doesn’t hurt to have your cavities filled, mostly because local anesthetics are used to numb the area. Still, if you are concerned or even fearful about the process, there are options like sedation dentistry to help ease you through the procedure.


Finally, someone might put off getting a filling because they don’t like the feeling of being numb. But the critical thing to remember — in all these situations — is just how serious a cavity can be if it’s not treated promptly. 

What happens when fillings are delayed 

Your dentist will probably encourage you to get your cavity filled as soon as possible, which might mean some time in the next month or so, depending on their first availability. Getting a tooth filled usually takes less than an hour, but if you have multiple fillings, it may take longer. 

If you decide to wait to get your tooth filled, your cavity won’t heal itself. You may experience several further issues, which will become more dangerous the longer you wait. 

1. The cavity will get bigger.

Cavities don’t just stay the same size once they form. They get larger and larger because of the normal wear and tear your teeth experience when you eat, drink, brush, and talk. If you have bad habits, such as night grinding, the speed of this damage will only increase.  

2. Your tooth might experience other problems.

Losing more enamel is the primary concern with delayed fillings, but infection is also a serious possibility. This could lead to the need for more serious treatments, such as a root canal, which also usually means a higher cost. If you wait too long, the tooth might become so severely damaged that even other procedures can’t save it, which could mean extraction in the end. 

3. Your problem tooth can cause further effects. 

When one of your teeth becomes compromised, the others are in trouble now too. The bacteria causing your tooth to decay will be able to jump to your other teeth, affecting them as well. Even other parts of the body, like the brain and the heart, can become infected if tooth decay goes untreated for too long.   

Get your cavities filled soon

Don’t wait; getting a cavity filled is the best way to avoid any possible side effects you might experience from untreated tooth decay.

If you want to make an appointment, please do so online, or call 212-964-3337 to reach our New York City office in the Financial District.

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