Cavity fillings are one of the most common and important dental procedures. Although a cavity does not always cause pain or sensation, many patients will experience these symptoms indicating that a cavity needs filling. Cavities vary in size and can be small and invisible to those who do not know how to recognize them, or they can be so large that they are visible on examination.
The dentist will diagnose a cavity through a number of evaluations during a dental exam; after visual inspection, oral examination and through X-ray analysis.
Delaying the filling of a cavity is not recommended. Caries is a cavity in a tooth and abstaining from a filling can cause the caries to get deeper, so deep that it requires root canal treatment, crown or tooth extraction is necessary to repair the damage.
Also, not treating a cavity puts the tooth at risk of infection, as bacteria and particles can get trapped inside the cavity. As tooth decay worsens, it is common to feel pain or tenderness as the nerves in the center of the tooth are exposed and the patient is at risk of developing a tooth abscess.