What is a Dental Filling?
A filling is the best solution to restore a tooth that has suffered from decay. In order to be sure the decay is completely gone, your dentist will need to drill your tooth, remove the decay and wash it out. After a thorough cleaning, your dentist will fill the cavity with filling material. This filling material is meant to keep the shape of the tooth, protect the cavity area, and also prevent future damage such as more decay. Filling a cavity is the most common dental procedure and is nothing to worry about!
Types of Dental Fillings
Not all dental fillings look the same; in fact, there are four types of filling materials used frequently. Gold fillings are created in a lab and molded to fit your tooth. This option is often seen as the most effective because it lasts a long time but it does require multiple office visits and can be pricier than the others. Amalgam or silver fillings are a more affordable option but are visible to the naked eye and are therefore less desirable. Composite or plastics resins are matched to your tooth color but have been known to chip and break, only lasting 3-10 years on average. And lastly, porcelain fillings are made in a lab and are used to cover most of your tooth. While they are protective, their price is higher than other options.
The best way to prevent the need of a filling is to be committed to an effective oral hygiene routine. Brushing twice a day, flossing, rinsing after meals, and avoiding harmful food and drinks will give you the best chance at avoiding cavities in your teeth. By visiting the dentist on a bi-annual basis, you will be able to take care of any cavities in your mouth before they become a more serious issue. Sometimes, cavities can be detected when pain occurs in one or more teeth but to be diagnosed, you’ll have to have dental x-rays taken to see what’s going on under the surface.
Treat Your Cavity in Revere, MA
Our dental office in Revere, MA will help you get rid of your cavity and prevent future damage to your tooth. Visit our payment options page to see which insurances we accept and contact us today to schedule an appointment!
List of Dental Procedures:
- Dental Cleaning & Exams
- Dental Crowns
- Dental Bridges
- Root Canal
- Gum Disease Treatment
- Tooth Extraction
- Family Dental Services
- Children’s Play Areas in All Offices
- Parents Welcome in Treatment Rooms
- Treating Children as Young as 6 Months Old
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Fillings
A dental cavity is an indent in a tooth caused by erosion of the enamel with relation to tooth decay. Cavities can form on the chewing surface of the tooth, between two teeth, and even under the gumline. Left unchecked further deterioration of the tooth can lead to infection and eventually the need for a root canal or tooth extraction.
The primary protection against cavities is brushing and flossing. Brushing can remove food debris and plaque attached to the surfaces of your teeth while flossing can do the same for the tiny gaps between teeth. When food stays in our mouth it combines with the bacteria that is present and can lead to decay. However, brushing and flossing alone are not the only methods to preventing cavities. A professional cleaning at your dentist can decrease the risk of cavities by removing plaque that your toothbrush can’t. Dental sealants can also decrease the risks of cavities by providing a thin protective layer to your molars. Lastly, fluoride has been proven to strengthen teeth and improve their resistance to cavities.
There is often a misconception that certain “bad” foods cause cavities. While it is true that foods high in sugar or liquids with high acidic content increase the risk of decay, it is important to understand that many “healthy” foods have natural sugars as well as natural acid content. Often we conflate food that is healthy for our bodies with healthy for our teeth. Even natural fruit juices can be bad for your teeth, provided you don’t brush them. When it comes to cavities it is less about what you eat/drink and instead when and how often. If you drink acidic beverages after you brush your teeth at night that acid can eat away at your teeth until you wake up the next morning. If you eat sugary foods and don’t floss that food can stick around for a while. As long as you brush and floss often you can decrease the length of time that sugar and acidic beverages are attached to your teeth.
If you lose a dental filling you should call a dentist right away. Between calling the dentist and going you should rinse your mouth out with water; if there is bleeding use a clean cloth or gauze to stop the bleeding. An ice pack or cold compress can help decrease swelling and pain. You will need to get your filling replaced to protect your tooth from damage.
Yes, a filling does not protect your tooth from future dental decay. You can have multiple cavities in the same tooth, and teeth that have received fillings can be more vulnerable to future tooth decay. If you have received a dental filling, you should take extra care to brush and floss and avoid other factors that increase the formation of cavities.