Cavity fillings are amongst the most commonly performed restorative treatments in dentistry. Getting a filling in a cavity is a straightforward procedure that can restore your tooth to good health. At HomeTown Dental at Sherman we encourage our patients to maintain a regular schedule of checkups and professional cleanings. It is at these appointments that many cavities are identified in their earliest stages. It is important not to neglect even a small cavity. Neglecting a cavity can result in bacteria continuing to decay the tooth. The stability of the tooth is at risk, as is the overall health of your mouth.
What Is A Dental Filling
A dental filling is a restorative treatment that repairs any damage on a tooth. The damage to the tooth could be due to decay or due to an injury to the tooth from a fall or blow to the mouth. Dental fillings are also used to repair the damage done to teeth as the result of bruxism (nighttime teeth grinding). Typically damage can be prevented if the patient regularly uses a nightguard before damage sets in.
Fillings will restore the function of the tooth and replace any decay that is removed during the procedure. A filling can repair cavities, cracks, and small chips in teeth. There are several biocompatible materials that are used for the filling itself. The material used to repair your tooth will be based upon the location of the tooth, and the degree of damage to the tooth. Sometimes patients need a root canal in addition to the filling.
What To Expect From Cavity Filling Procedures
Expect to be in the office for no more than an hour. Our dentist may take digital x-rays to determine the extent of the damage to the tooth. From here, a treatment plan can be devised. The tooth will be numbed, using a local anesthetic, so that you feel no discomfort during your procedure.
Our dentist will then address the cavity, by removing all traces of decay that are present. The tooth will be disinfected so that any remaining bacteria can be destroyed. The selected filling material will be used to fill in the space left by the cavity, and to rebuild the tooth. The material used will be color matched to the natural tooth, in order to ensure you get a flawless restoration.
Once the filling is in place, a specialized curing light will be used to speed up the process. A few adjustments may be needed to ensure that you can bite, floss and smile without issue.
Taking Care Of Your Fillings
Once a filling has been placed on a tooth, it becomes a part of the tooth. You can brush your teeth with fillings, floss, and use mouthwash without issue. Fillings can last for a number of years before they will need to be replaced. They can, of course, wear down faster in some situations. If you grind or clench your teeth in your sleep, you may inadvertently damage the fillings. Our dentist may recommend a nightguard to protect your teeth and fillings while you sleep.
If a filling falls out or there are signs of wear on fillings, they will need to be replaced. Failing to replace them as soon as the damage is noticed can lead to further concerns. Continuing to chew on a filling that is crumbling or falling out can result in further damage. You will also be at a higher risk of additional decay.
It Is Possible To Prevent Cavities
Healthy oral hygiene habits that focus on brushing and flossing are a simple start. Visiting our dentist every six months for a checkup exam, and getting your professional dental cleaning, can help to keep your mouth cavity-free. These appointments offer opportunities for a health check. The hygienist can also help to identify and address any early signs of gum disease.
Prevention is definitely the best cure, but early intervention can also be incredibly valuable. The neglect of even a small cavity can potentially result in the loss of the tooth, both naturally or through extraction, and the spread of infection to other teeth and across the body.
Schedule your appointment to get your cavity filled with our dentist at HomeTown Dental at Sherman by calling 430-202-5033.