Don’t feel bad if your dentist tells you that you need dental fillings. Fillings help fight tooth decay and can prolong the life of your tooth. If you want to learn why fillings can help you keep your teeth in good condition, here are some facts to consider.
What Are Dental Fillings?
A dental filling goes inside a tooth with a filling; its name implies that function. The dentist has to clean the cavity first, which involves administering anesthesia if the filling is in a deep tooth or if the cavity is large. The filling is then hardened with a curing light. Shaping and polishing follow. The tooth will have support during chewing and protection against future damage and decay.
When to Get Dental Fillings
Bacteria in the mouth accumulate over time, and these bacteria become acidic. The acid corrodes the teeth and causes cavities, which are tiny holes at first. If the holes go untreated, they become worse. The cavities become so deep that they extend into the dentin and pulp of the tooth. The tooth becomes sensitive to cold and heat, and it starts to hurt. A filling is required to prevent further damage to the tooth.
How Fillings Preserve Teeth
Dental fillings are a standard treatment for restoring cavities. A filling is often referred to as a dental restoration because it is used to restore what is missing: the enamel in a cavity. Common fillings materials are amalgam, resin, gold, and ceramic. Also, your dentist will scrape away all decay and replace it with the filling before they seal it in.
Fillings preserve tooth shape and structure by preventing cavities from spreading or causing further damage to them. In addition, they keep out bacteria and prevent the decay from spreading deeper into the tooth.
Dentists do not last forever, either. The American Dental Association states that the average dentist retires at age 68 after practicing for 26 years. Our teeth also do not last forever; our fillings fall apart, exposing the cavity that has formed underneath. Dentists can inspect filling cavities and use x-rays to reveal cavities beneath the filling.
How Fillings Prevent Further Damage
It is always preferable to detect a cavity before it gets to the point where it requires a crown to fix it. A filling is cheaper and less time-intensive than a crown, and the dentist can stop the decay from spreading with a filling. This is preferable to waiting until the cavity has reached a point where a crown is needed because the crown is even more expensive and time-consuming.
The other option after this point is either extracting the tooth and replacing it with an implant or performing a root canal on the remaining tooth. These options both cost more money and require even more time to complete. There is also the potential for additional issues like infections and further problems with other teeth in the mouth.
Are you feeling a twinge of pain in your tooth? A cavity may be forming. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss ways to prevent further damage. A filling may be suggested to you, and it is always preferable to prevent further damage to your teeth. Even though it is much more effort to get a filling than to wait for a tooth to fall out simply, your dentist may suggest that it is worth it in the long run.
Established in 1991 by Dr. Fawn Rosenberg, Lexington Smile Studio sets the standards for exceptional care where we provide a full range of dental services for your entire family. Our dental services include cosmetic dentistry, prosthodontics, implant dentistry, periodontics, and laser dentistry. If you’re interested in Invisalign treatment in Lexington, we’re here to help! Book an appointment today and get the smile of your dreams next!