If your dentist finds a very shallow cavity on the surface of a tooth, the process of repairing it is fairly simple. They'll remove the decay and place a filling in the tooth so that the soft part of the tooth is not exposed. However, deep cavities may be treated differently. Here is what could be done as a potential treatment option. 


Be aware that it is still possible for a deep cavity to be fixed with a filling. The factors that this depends on are the location of the cavity and your bite, as you want the filling to make the tooth as strong as possible for you to eat like you normally do. More care will likely have to be done to shape the filling so that it feels natural with your bite, especially if a large part of the chewing surface is gone.

The nice thing about using a filling is that the restoration process is quite simple. You'll have the entire procedure done in a single visit and you'll be on your way. However, it may not be a long-lasting treatment option. It is possible that the tooth becomes weak and cracks from eating, and then you'll need to get another treatment option done.


Another option for a deep cavity is a crown. This may be necessary when the overall structure of the tooth will be compromised and a filling is not possible. This would be if the decay ends up causing a wall of the tooth to be removed, which does not leave much surface to place a dental filling on. 

The process of getting a crown will involve shaping the tooth and taking an impression. The crown is then created to fit the exact size of your mouth, and then you'll return to have the crown attached. A crown is going to be a long-lasting option if it is properly cared for. 


An onlay is a lot like a partial dental crown but retains a lot more of the tooth's structure. This is because the onlay wraps around the top of the tooth's surface and is secured in place. The procedure of getting an onlay involves removing a lot less of the tooth's structure when compared to a crown, and an impression is used to create the onlay in a laboratory. 

Click here for more information on dealing with a deep cavity.