When you have a dental cavity, which is very close to the root, this can cause significant amount of pain. When you experience this pain it is highly recommended that you schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Not seeking medical attention can further damage your teeth and can minimize the possibility of the teeth being saved.
The most common reason for tooth damage is poor oral hygiene. Not brushing and flossing daily can lead to cavities due to food staying on your teeth. The old food lingers until it starts to eat away at the tooth. One of the main culprits is sugar. When left on the tooth, sugar can cause cavities that start out small and begin to grow if the oral hygiene regime doesn’t change. Broken, chipped, or cracked teeth are all candidates for a filling. Sometimes regular wear of the tooth can also cause damage. If you are someone who grinds their teeth, has a lot of acid in their diet, or over brushes, you may experience sensitivity with your teeth and this may lead to needing a filling. You may also need a filling for cosmetic reasons. This is a great way to fix a smile that has been ruined and will make the tooth or teeth look natural again.
Most dentists recommended visiting the dentist twice a year. This is preventative care and standard for individuals without any major problems. However, others may need to visit more often. When you first notice a crack or hole beginning to form in your tooth, it is wise to set an appointment with your dentist. If the problem is caught in its early stages, the tooth and the nerves to it may be saved. The longer you wait, the bigger the problem can become.
What are the Different Dental Filling Types?
There are several different types of dental fillings and your yokinesmilesdental.com.au approved dentist will discuss which is best for you depending on the location of the restoration in your mouth, the extent of the repair, whether you have any allergies, and your budget.
1. The Classic: Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam fillings are what you might think of as “silver” dental fillings, though they’re actually composed of a mixture of tin, copper, silver, and mercury. They have been used for over 150 years! The reason dentists have been using them for so long is that they are strong and long-lasting, and they are also the least expensive option. However, they’re very noticeable and tend to darken over time, so if you want something that blends in, amalgam fillings probably aren’t the ones you want.
2. Low Profile: Composite Fillings
Composite dental fillings are made of acrylic resin and powdered glass. Unlike amalgam fillings, they can be colored to match your teeth, which is part of what makes them so popular. They do wear out faster, though, and aren’t always the best choice for teeth that take the greatest chewing pressure.
3. Putting On The Ritz: Gold Fillings
Gold fillings aren’t made of pure gold, just like amalgam fillings aren’t made of pure silver, but they are some of the most durable fillings available, capable of lasting more than two decades. They can’t corrode like amalgam fillings, and they’re very strong. Unfortunately, they are also very expensive, costing between six and ten times more than amalgam fillings.
4. Delicate Yet Realistic: Ceramic Fillings
Ceramic fillings are mostly made of porcelain. This makes them another low-profile option, and not only are they tooth-coloured, they’re also stain-resistant! The drawbacks of ceramic fillings are that they are more brittle than composite fillings, and they are also nearly as expensive as gold.
5. Down To The Roots: Glass Ionomer Fillings
The final type of filling is resin or glass ionomer fillings. These are made of acrylic and fluoroaluminosilicate, a component of glass. They are typically used as cement for inlay fillings, for fillings in the front teeth, and for fillings when the decay extends into the root of the tooth. They are also used on baby teeth. Weaker than composite resin, glass ionomer fillings might only last around five years, and they don’t match the colour of teeth as closely.
No matter what filling you get, your tooth will still need plenty of love and care!
Taking Care of Cavity Fillings
You may experience some sensitivity and pain after receiving tooth fillings, but this discomfort should subside. Don’t neglect your oral care routine. Instead, try products designed specifically to protect sensitive teeth. Crest Pro-Health Sensitive Plus Enamel Shield Toothpaste protects sensitive teeth, and also provides protection against future tooth decay. In addition, Oral-B Glide Floss for sensitive gums shouldn’t irritate the area around tooth fillings.
When to Replace a Cavity Filling
Tooth fillings usually last for many years before they need to be replaced. But tooth fillings can wear out over years of chewing. If you clench or grind your teeth, you may need to have tooth fillings replaced sooner.
If you notice signs of wear on your tooth fillings, such as cracks or worn areas, see your dentist to have the filling replaced as soon as possible. Continuing to chew with a damaged filling can cause the tooth to crack and require additional repair that is more expensive and more complicated than a simple cavity filling. If additional tooth decay develops around a filling, whether or not the filling is damaged, your dentist may choose to repair the tooth with a crown instead of a second cavity filling.
Other Potential Problems with Cavity Fillings
It’s important to know about potential problems, so you can see your dentist promptly to have cavity fillings adjusted or repaired. Possible complications from cavity fillings include:
- Infection: Sometimes a cavity filling will pull away from the tooth to which it is attached, creating a small space. This space can be a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause additional tooth decay. If you notice a space between your tooth and your cavity filling, visit a dentist as soon as possible.
- Damage: Sometimes a cavity filling breaks, cracks, or falls out. Damage to a filling can occur when you bite down on something hard or if you are hit in the mouth while playing sports. See a dentist as soon as you notice damage to a cavity filling to avoid irritation and infection of the unprotected tooth.