Wisdom tooth filling

The wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, occupy a location in your mouth that typically makes them difficult, if not virtually impossible, to clean properly. Due to that, wisdom teeth are prone to decay because there’s a persistent build-up of dental plaque that tends to accumulate on the tooth. The question people ask is: Can a cavity in a wisdom tooth be filled ? This article discusses wisdom tooth cavity and wisdom tooth filling.

Wisdom tooth
Side view of adult’s face showing teeth in upper and lower jaw. Wisdom teeth are through gums with roots anchored in bone.

What causes cavities?

Many factors play a role in the development of cavities. These steps typically occur:

  • Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugary, starchy foods and drinks (fruit, candy, bread, cereal, sodas, juice and milk). The bacteria convert these carbohydrates into acids.
  • Bacteria, acid, food and saliva mix to form plaque. This sticky substance coats the teeth.
  • Without proper brushing and flossing, acids in plaque dissolve tooth enamel, creating cavities, or holes.

Wisdom tooth filling

Wisdom tooth filling is very much possible if it satisfies the following conditions

  1. The tooth in question has completely erupted and is placed upright at the same level as the adjacent teeth.
  2. The concerned tooth is accessible to the dentist as many a times the tooth may be placed out of the arch and being the last tooth, it gets extremely difficult to reach it due to the cheeks or tongue.
  3. The decay should be limited to the denting of the tooth for a simple tooth filling to take place. In case it involves the pulp of the tooth, accessibility to perform a root canal treatment should be evaluated thoroughly.
  4. The tooth in question is not grossly decayed, i.e., less than two thirds of the tooth structure should be involved by the decay. If more than that, then its advisable to extract the tooth.

Should a decayed wisdom tooth be pulled?

When the tooth is badly carious involing half or more of the tooth then it recommended to get the tooth extracted out.

Benefit of wisdom tooth extraction vs tooth filling

Removing the wisdom teeth as soon as risk factors for decay or periodontal disease in their proximity is noted by either yourself or the dental team in order to reduce the risk of future, and potentially more severe problems further down the track. 

Trying to fill decayed wisdom teeth is potentially futile as the risk factors have not changed and therefore new decay is highly likely to form again over time.

By removing them early the local environment is altered as the teeth in front are more accessible for cleaning, thus helping to create a more stable and maintainable set of teeth.


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