When are dental fillings necessary?
Dental fillings are effective treatments to address cavities, which are caused by tooth decay. A filling can also address the damage done to teeth through chipping, cracks, and other accidents and injuries. If a cavity is detected early enough, simple fillings are sufficient in keeping the decay from spreading or progressing to a more serious infection that requires greater intervention.
Only a dentist can tell you for certain whether a filling is the right solution to your issue. But some signs that could indicate you may need a dental filling include:
- Sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold food and beverages
- General pain or a toothache that doesn’t go away
- Bad breath, which could be caused by the tooth decay responsible for the cavity
- A small but visible hole or crack in your tooth, particularly after an impact accident — or if you tend to grind or clench your teeth
- Visible cracking or damage to an old filling, which may necessitate repair
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment as soon as possible. The sooner we can take a look, the more efficiently we can resolve the issue. Getting a filling to repair a cavity is much easier than getting root canal treatment to resolve an infection that has been allowed to persist.
What is the process of getting a dental filling like?
When Drs. Gordon and Brooks Green and Dr. Nichole Barnett determine that you need a dental filling, we will examine the cavity in question. This could include dental X-rays to determine the extent of the damage. From there, we will use local anesthesia to ensure you stay comfortable throughout the treatment. Using a small drill, we will remove the decayed and damaged area from the tooth in question. To protect the rest of your tooth from bacteria and further decay, we will fill it with the dental filling material. Different types of filling materials include:
- Amalgam fillings, a common, affordable, and sturdy combination of metallic elements
- Composite fillings, created to match your tooth color for a discreet and natural solution
- Metal fillings, including silver and gold for long-lasting solutions
- Ceramic fillings, colored to match existing teeth and resistant to long-term staining
After we have completed the dental filling, you’re free to go. Once the numbness from the local anesthesia has worn off, you may experience some sensitivity. If it persists, give us a call. Care for your filled tooth just like you would any other, brushing and flossing consistently.
How can I avoid fillings in the future?
Good dental hygiene is one of the best ways to avoid future fillings. By brushing twice a day and flossing every day, you can combat the bacteria that contribute to cavity-causing tooth decay. Going to your professional dental cleanings twice a year is important, too. You can also avoid damage that might necessitate a filling by wearing a mouthguard when playing sports or a nightguard if you are prone to bruxism.
If you think you may need a filling, don’t delay.
Give us a call to schedule your appointment today!
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