Tooth structure may be lost due to decay or fracture. To help restore the structure as well as the function of the teeth, a dental filling may be performed. Our dentist at The OC Smiles Family Dental removes the decaying tissue and weakened areas of the tooth before replacing them with a filling material. Left unchecked, cavities can bring a lot of problems. A tooth with a cavity will continue suffering decay. A cavity can lead to an abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth will need a root canal to save it. If the cavity has done a lot of damage and the tooth is not restorable by a root canal, then a tooth extraction becomes the solution. This means you will need implants or other solutions like dentures and bridges.
How to Tell if You Need a Dental Filling
Dental decay does not present a lot of symptoms during its early stages. But if you have tooth sensitivity when you expose your teeth to certain foods like cold and hot temperatures, sticky foods, sweet foods, or sour foods, then you may need to be checked for cavities. If you notice that when you floss, the string tears each time, it could be the presence of a cavity.
Also, if a previous filling is damaged, it means the hole is left open, therefore, you need replacement of the filling. Moreover, when you find that food is being stuck between teeth or a tooth is chipped or fractured, you may be a candidate for a filling. Other signs include dark spots or even a hole in the tooth. Throbbing or sharp pain in the mouth when you chew your food or bite down on something may signal a cavity.
Dental Filling Procedure
First, our dentist injects an anesthetic into the site to numb the area around the affected tooth. The aesthetic also helps numb the jaw and gums around the tooth to be treated. Our dentist then employs a drill or laser instrument to help remove the damaged or decayed tissue from the tooth. Once the decay is removed, the dentist cleans the hollow area to prepare it for filling. Cleaning the hole helps ensure that there are no bacteria or debris that could encourage further decay. We then place the moldable filling material, which goes into the hole. We may use composite, silver amalgam, glass ionomer filling, or other materials. We discuss from the start the material to use. Once placed, we may cure the material with UV light to hasten the hardening process.
Aftercare Tips for Dental Fillings
Now that your dental filling procedure is complete, you will need to take care of the restorations. Ensure you come in for checkups and cleanings twice yearly. Brush and floss regularly and limit surgery foods and drinks. Try to avoid anything hot if you have just had a cavity filling because you may not have sensitivity to hot things. As a result, you could hurt or burn yourself. Wait for the aesthetic to wear off. Also, do not consume extremely hot or cold foods and beverages and avoid hard or sticky snacks such as gum and popcorn.
Talk to us at The OC Smiles Family Dental about dental fillings and why you need them. Book an appointment by calling us at (971) 447-0093.
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