What Are Dental Fillings?
A dental filling is a restoration that’s designed to fill in an area of a tooth that has become decayed. Tooth decay, or cavities, can occur as a result of a poor diet and poor oral hygiene habits. Unfortunately, if tooth decay is ignored, it can get worse and lead to the need for a root canal. Before this happens, the decay is carefully removed from the tooth and then replaced with a filling.
Why Would Dental Fillings Be Needed?
The most common reason for needing a filling is because you have a cavity. Cavities are often caused by improper brushing and flossing as well as a diet that is high in sugar. While children are often more prone to tooth decay, adults can get cavities as well. If you have a cavity, it is best to have the decay removed as soon as possible to prevent the problem from getting worse.
Who Is A Candidate For Dental Fillings?
Most smaller cavities will exhibit little to no symptoms, which can make it difficult to know that there’s a problem. This is why it is important to come in for regular checkup appointments. During these appointments, we examine the teeth using a dental instrument known as an explorer. This explorer essentially searches a tooth’s surface for softer areas that would signal decay. In some cases, x-rays are necessary in finding cavities that need treatment.
What Happens During The Procedure For Dental Fillings?
The procedure begins with anesthetic, which is used to numb a specific area within the mouth. We then carefully remove the decay from the tooth. The small hole that is left behind is then prepped to receive the tooth-colored filling. We pour and pack composite resin into the hole and smooth it into place. The resin is cured with a special dental light to ensure it stays in place securely. You can expect most tooth-colored composite fillings to last for about a decade before replacement is needed.
If you think you might need a dental filling, call us today and we will be happy to further assist in answering your questions regarding this procedure.