Cavity fillings, also called dental restorations or dental fillings, are done to repair damaged teeth. Fillings have changed quite a bit since they were first used hundreds of years ago, and their use helps patients everywhere keep their teeth and minimize the effects of decay. Below are several vital facts about dental fillings.
They Sometimes Conceal Signs of Decay
Though fillings are meant to eradicate cavities and prevent them from coming back, it’s possible for decay to start again under a damaged filling. Dental restorations can be damaged, just like natural teeth. Through cracks and holes, mouth bacteria can start to form another cavity. The new damage is preventable, though, with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. If you’re looking for a Cavity Filling Near Me, call our office today.
Not All Fillings Are the Same
In the recent past, patients and dentists only had one choice for fillings: silver amalgam. While they work, for the most part, they’re usually visible. These days, fillings made of composite resin are designed to match a patient’s natural teeth. Some dentists also use fillings made of:
- Glass ionomer, which is suitable for smaller cavities
- Ceramic, which resists decay and closely imitates the look of natural tooth surfaces
- Resin ionomer, which is often used for non-molars
The material a dentist chooses depends on the severity and location of the cavity. If it’s time for a filling, talk to your dentist about these materials and let them recommend the best option.
Fillings Only Take One Office Visit
Dental restorations don’t take long. In most instances, they can be done in just a few minutes. During the appointment, the dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic, as they’ll need to remove the decayed tooth matter before applying the filling. Once that’s done, you can resume normal activities right away.
Not Every Cavity Needs a Filling
Most people assume that, because they have cavities, they’ll need fillings. How tooth damage is treated, however, depends on its severity and location. In some instances, a filling won’t be enough to save a tooth. When patients’ teeth are damaged to the extent that they are structurally compromised, a dental crown will preserve the remaining tooth surfaces.
Cavities Don’t Go Away
Cavities are impossible to ignore. Decay typically starts slowly, but like many other conditions, it only gets worse with time. Eventually, it may cover an entire tooth, leading to the need for an invasive and painful extraction. Early decay causes few symptoms, which means that regular office visits are the only way to spot cavities before they become too serious.
Fillings Don’t Last Forever
Some people assume that, once they’ve had a filling, it will last for a lifetime. That’s simply not true, as all fillings eventually need replacement. The longevity of a filling depends on factors such as the installation method, the patient’s oral hygiene, and the material used. Composite resin dental fillings last about five years, while those made of silver amalgam can last up to 15 years with proper care.
Do You Need a Filling?
If you’re unsure of the condition of an existing filling, or if a cavity has appeared, it’s time for action. Explore our site to learn about the available services or call to schedule an appointment today.
30 Replies to “6 Important Facts About Cavity Fillings”
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