Cavities,  Decay,  Q&A

How To Fill a Cavity at Home?

This article is a part of our Q&A series in which we give detailed answers to our readers' questions. Have a question? Don't hesitate and send it to us to get a detailed answer!

Before delving into this topic, it’s crucial to make it clear that filling a cavity at home is not recommended. Dental cavities should always be treated by a licensed dentist or dental professional. Improper treatment can lead to worsening decay, infection, and other serious dental issues. This guide aims to educate on why it’s essential to avoid DIY cavity treatments and emphasizes the importance of professional dental care.

What Are Dental Cavities?

Dental cavities, also known as caries or tooth decay, are damaged areas in the tooth’s surface that develop into small holes. They are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in the mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks, and poor oral hygiene.

Risks of DIY Cavity Filling

Attempting to fill a cavity at home carries several risks:

  • Inadequate Materials: Over-the-counter filling materials are not as durable or effective as the materials used by dental professionals.
  • Infection Risk: Without proper sterilization and technique, there’s a high risk of introducing bacteria into the tooth, which can cause infection.
  • Misdiagnosis: A layperson may not be able to accurately assess the extent of tooth decay or detect underlying issues.
  • Improper Filling: Incorrectly filling a cavity can cause bite issues and may worsen the decay.
  • Legal Concerns: In many countries, performing dental procedures without a license is illegal.

What To Do If You Suspect a Cavity

If you suspect you have a cavity, it’s important to take steps to seek professional treatment:

  • Schedule an Appointment: Contact your dentist and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene: In the meantime, continue to brush twice a day and floss regularly.
  • Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks: This will help prevent the cavity from worsening.
  • Temporary Pain Relief: If you’re experiencing pain, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers as directed. Avoid placing aspirin or any other medication directly against the gums near the aching tooth as it may burn gum tissue.

Professional Cavity Filling Treatment at a Dental Office

When you visit a dentist for a suspected cavity, here’s what you can expect:

  • Examination and X-rays: The dentist will examine your teeth and may take X-rays to assess the extent of the decay.
  • Treatment Plan: Depending on the severity of the cavity, the dentist will recommend a treatment plan which could include a filling, crown, root canal, or in extreme cases, extraction.
  • Cavity Filling Process: If a filling is recommended, the dentist will numb the area, remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned-out cavity with a filling material.

Bottom Line

It is imperative to understand that dental health is a critical component of overall health, and attempting to fill a cavity at home is dangerous and ineffective. Professional treatment is essential for ensuring that cavities are properly diagnosed and treated, to prevent further tooth decay and safeguard oral health. Always consult a licensed dentist for any dental concerns or treatments.

This Q&A series article is complete and was published on July 19, 2023, and last updated on July 19, 2023.

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