When you have a dental cavity, which is very close to the root, this can cause a significant amount of pain. When you experience this pain it is highly recommended that you schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Not seeking medical attention can further damage your teeth and can minimise the possibility of the teeth being saved.
The most common reason for tooth damage is poor oral hygiene. Not brushing and flossing daily can lead to cavities due to food staying on your teeth. The old food lingers until it starts to eat away at the tooth. One of the main culprits is sugar. When left on the tooth, sugar can cause cavities that start out small and begin to grow if the oral hygiene regime doesn't change. Broken, chipped, or cracked teeth are all candidates for a filling. Sometimes regular wear of the tooth can also cause damage. If you are someone who grinds their teeth, has a lot of acid in their diet, or over brushes, you may experience sensitivity with your teeth and this may lead to needing a filling. You may also need a filling for cosmetic reasons. This is a great way to fix a smile that has been ruined and will make the tooth or teeth look natural again.
Most dentists recommended visiting the dentist twice a year. This is preventative care and standard for individuals without any major problems. However, others may need to visit more often. When you first notice a crack or hole beginning to form in your tooth, it is wise to set an appointment with your dentist. If the problem is caught in its early stages, the tooth and the nerves to it may be saved. The longer you wait, the bigger the problem can become.
What Can I Expect When Having a Dental Filling?
Most visits will involve the dentist using instruments to check the tooth or teeth. Depending on the level of damage, an x-ray may need to be done. The dentist will examine not only the tooth but the gums and bones near it. After the dentist has finished the examination, he or she will go about helping to decide what can be done to fix the damage. If the damage to your tooth is minor, it may qualify for a filling. However, if the tooth is extremely damaged, you may be in need of a root canal. If you are in need of a filling, the dentist will give you all the available options of filling material.
What Materials are Used for Dental Fillings?
There are several different materials that can be used and these will depend on the level of decay in the tooth, the location of the damaged tooth, and the price that you can afford. The materials are gold, silver, porcelain, and a composite resin that is created to be the same colour as your tooth.
The gold fillings have been said to be the best fillings because they are known to last over 20 years. This is used on inlays, onlays, and crowns, and is the most expensive of the filling materials. The downside is that this filling can require two office visits to complete, where others may only need one.
The silver fillings are normally used in the back of the mouth because the colour of the silver tends to stand out and doesn't blend in with the tooth. It is fairly inexpensive and is known to last about 10 years or longer. The downside for this filling is that the process of filling the tooth destroys healthier parts of the tooth because room has to be made in order for the filling to hold.
The porcelain fillings are used for inlays, onlays, veneers, crowns, etc. They are the colour of your tooth but have been known to be more brittle. The life span is around 7 years and the price can be as much as a gold filling but this depends on the size of the damaged area.
Composite resin is a good choice because it matches the colour of your tooth and is made from a mould of your tooth. A special light is used to harden the resin inside of the tooth and this allows the filling to blend in with your tooth and create a more natural look. Since this bonds directly to your tooth, it makes the tooth stronger than it would be with some of the other fillings. This filling material costs less than the gold fillings and can lasts for about 8 years.
The life span of the filling will depend on the dentist who did it and just how big the damaged area was to start with. Some people who have previously had fillings may need them replaced because they have cracked, decay has started to form under them, or simply because they look unappealing. There have been cases where silver fillings where replaced over time with more natural looking fillings.
How Much Does a Dental Filling Cost?
The price of a filling will vary depending on which material is being used. This can start at around $100 and go up to around $300. Other factors to consider are the actual dentist and what he or she chooses to charge, the location of the tooth and damage, and the amount of time it takes to repair the tooth.
What is the Process of a Dental Filling?
The dentist will first start by numbing the tooth and the area around it. He or she will then choose their instrument to begin cleaning out the decay in the tooth. Once all of the decay has been removed, the dentist will proceed to shape the inside of the tooth and fill it with your choice of filling. When the filling is in, he or she will then do a bite check to make sure the filling is level and not too high. If for any reason the filling is too high once you have gotten home, you can set a new appointment to go back and have it smoothed down. If you experience any symptoms after having the filling in that aren't normal, you should revisit your dentist.
How Do I Care for Dental Fillings?
You may experience some sensitivity but this is a common side effect. This should only last a few weeks but if it goes longer, visit your dentist and he or she may have some desensitising methods to help you.
However, if you begin to have pains that feel like an actual toothache, this may mean that the tissue is damaged and a root canal may be needed. When eating, take the filling into consideration with the items you choose to consume. It is especially wise to avoid any foods that are sticky because they may pull the filling out before it has had time to set and when you do eat, chew on the side without the filling. It is very important to brush and floss properly and to do it on a daily basis. Proper oral hygiene is an important way to prevent any more decay or damage to your teeth. This will help take care of your teeth and hopefully avoid having to have any more fillings or any other dental procedures in the future.