Dental cavities start out as small, painless holes in the teeth. Untreated dental cavities can cause premature tooth loss and severe decay, but the only person who can determine whether you have a cavity is your dentist. Getting a cavity filled is a simple procedure that can help prevent further deterioration. Unfortunately, some people avoid getting treatment because they dread dental procedures. Learning more about the cavity filling process at Splendid Dental Care Bellaire.
What Is Cavity Filling?
A cavity is a hollow part of the tooth resulting from tooth decay. The most common cause of cavities is the buildup of bacteria due to poor oral hygiene. Signs of a cavity include increased sensitivity, toothache, and discoloration of the tooth surface. Cavity filling is a dental procedure whereby a dentist restores the function and structure of a decayed tooth. This restorative dentistry procedure involves the removal of decayed material and filling in the space left. In most cases, dentists fill cavities using gold, composite resins, or amalgams.
The Process of Getting a Cavity Filled
The process of filing a tooth takes approximately one hour; hence, one can complete it within a single dental visit. A dentist first educates patients on the procedure, and in some cases, they may take X-rays. They then prepare the decayed tooth and the surrounding area by administering local anesthesia. This process helps to avoid pain and reduce discomfort during the procedure. Once the area is numb, the dentist will remove the decayed part from the tooth using a drill.
The next stage involves cleaning the cavity to kill bacteria and placing the filling material. The steps followed when placing it may differ depending on the filling used. There are no significant risks associated with a dental filling, but one should schedule a follow-up appointment to confirm if the process was effective.
Types of Cavity Fillings
The materials used in dental fillings differ in strength, color, and method of application. The substance’s suitability can also vary from one patient to another, depending on their aesthetic preference and budget. The most prevalent types of cavity fillings are composite and amalgam. Composite fillings consist of a mixture of ceramic and plastics that can match a patient’s tooth color. This type of dental inlay is relatively durable and ideal for small cavities.
Amalgam overlays consist of a combination of metallic elements such as mercury and copper. The blend of metals may differ from the tooth color, making the filling noticeable. Also, they are more robust and durable compared to composite fillings. This aspect makes them suitable for covering cavities in the molars and premolars. Other types of cavity overlays are ceramic, metals, and glass ionomer.
How to Take Care of Cavity Fillings
You may experience discomfort and sensitivity several days after the procedure. However, if the sensitivity does not reduce or the pain is severe, one should seek medical attention. It is also advisable to avoid eating hard and sticky food for a minimum of one day after the procedure. This step will help prevent dislocation and cracking of the material.
The most effective way to maintain cavity fillings is by observing dental care measures. These include proper brushing, flossing, and visiting a dentist regularly. Most materials used in the procedure can last for more than five years before replacement. Nevertheless, they can wear out faster if you grind or clench your teeth. Looking out for signs of wear will help you identify when it is time to replace the fillings. Some of these signs are;
- Cracks on the filling
- Toothache and decay
- Experiencing pain when taking cold drinks
- Change in color of the filling
Get Professional Cavity Filling Services with Splendid Dental Care Bellaire
Cavity fillings are not only a form of restorative dentistry, but they also help in curing tooth decay. At Splendid Dental Bellaire, we dedicate our skills and facilities to improving your dental health. Our general dentistry specialists can fill your decayed teeth and administer fluoride to prevent further damage. Call Splendid Dental Care Bellaire today at 832.365.4860 to take control of your oral health.