Dental fillings are a common and effective solution for individuals who have cavities or other types of tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when the bacteria in our mouths create acids that slowly eat away at the enamel on our teeth. If left untreated, this decay can lead to pain, sensitivity, and even tooth loss. Dental fillings work by removing the decayed portion of the tooth and filling the space with a material such as composite resin, amalgam, or gold.
Without dental fillings, tooth decay can continue to progress, causing pain and discomfort and potentially leading to more serious dental problems such as abscesses or infections. In some cases, the decay may even reach the pulp or nerve of the tooth, which can be very painful and may require a root canal or tooth extraction. By getting a dental filling as soon as possible, individuals can prevent further damage and protect their teeth for years to come.
If you are experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible. With early detection and treatment, dental fillings can provide a simple and effective solution to tooth decay, allowing you to maintain good oral health and a beautiful smile.
Your questions answered
Dental fillings are materials that are used to fill cavities or holes in teeth that have been caused by tooth decay or injury. The most common types of dental fillings are made of composite resin, porcelain, amalgam, or gold.
You may need a dental filling if you experience tooth sensitivity, pain when biting down, or visible holes or pits in your teeth. Your dentist will perform an exam and may also take X-rays to determine the extent of tooth decay and whether a filling is necessary.
The lifespan of a dental filling depends on several factors, including the type of filling material used, the size and location of the filling, and your oral hygiene habits. On average, dental fillings can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years.
During a dental filling procedure, your dentist will first numb the affected tooth with a local anesthetic. They will then remove any decayed or damaged tooth material and clean the area thoroughly. Finally, they will fill the cavity with the appropriate filling material and shape it to match the natural contour of your tooth.
Most patients report little to no discomfort during a dental filling procedure, thanks to the use of local anesthesia. However, you may experience some sensitivity or mild discomfort in the hours or days following the procedure.
To extend the lifespan of your dental fillings, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene habits, including brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Avoid chewing hard objects or foods that could damage your fillings.