A healthy smile is an important asset for anyone; however, sometimes tooth decay and cavities can threaten it. To restore the strength and health of your teeth, dentists may suggest a dental filling. A dental filling is a procedure for treating cavities and tooth decay that involves removing the decayed area and replacing it with a man-made material. This blog will inform you further about this treatment option and what it entails.
What are Cavities and Decay?
Cavities, also known as dental caries, are small holes in your teeth that develop from the breakdown of tooth enamel caused by plaque acid. Tooth decay is the destruction of tooth structure due to bacteria or other factors. If left untreated, cavities and decay can gradually worsen over time and lead to further oral health issues.
How to Identify Cavities and Decay?
It is important to identify any cavities or decay as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage. Symptoms of cavities and decay include visible holes or pits in the teeth, pain when eating sweets, and hot or cold foods, sensitivity to sweet, hot, or cold temperatures, and discoloration or staining on the teeth. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your dentist for a diagnosis.
Treatment Options for Cavities and Decay
Once cavities and decay have been identified, treatment is typically necessary in order to prevent further damage to the teeth. One of the most common treatment options is a dental filling, which involves removing and replacing the decayed area with a man-made material.
Types of Dental Fillings
Dentists typically use composite, gold alloy, or base metal alloy fillings to restore teeth affected by cavities and decay. Composite fillings are made up of a resin material that is matched to the color of your teeth, making them hard to detect even when smiling. Gold alloy fillings are more expensive but are very durable and can last for decades with proper care. Base metal alloy fillings are also strong and durable but darken the area where they have been placed.
What to Expect During a Filling Procedure
When you visit the dentist for a filling, they will first use an X-ray or other imaging tool to identify the extent of the decay and determine the best course of treatment. Once the area has been identified, your dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic and then use a drill or laser to remove the decayed material. After this, your dentist will place the filling material into the cavity and shape it to fit perfectly. Once it has been set, your dentist should check for any sharp edges and make sure that you are comfortable with the procedure.
Caring for your Teeth After a Filling
Once you’ve received a dental filling, there are certain steps you should take to ensure that it lasts and that your teeth remain healthy. Make sure to brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly to remove any food particles or plaque from the area. Additionally, be sure to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
Cavities and decay can cause serious damage to teeth if left untreated. Dental fillings are one of the most common and effective treatments for cavities and decay, as they restore teeth to their original shape and strength. With proper care, dental fillings can last up to 10 years or more. Additionally, many insurance plans will cover some or all of the cost of a filling. If you experience any symptoms of cavities or decay, it is important to contact your dentist as soon as possible.
With proper care, dental fillings can last up to 10 years or more. However, they may need to be replaced sooner if they become damaged or decay further.
While you may experience some slight discomfort during the treatment, most people report that it is not too painful. Your dentist should provide you with an anesthetic to numb the area before beginning the procedure.
Most dental insurance plans will cover some or all of the cost of a filling, depending on your coverage. Be sure to check with your insurance provider beforehand to determine what is covered.