Cavities, or holes in your teeth, are permanently damaged areas of your enamel. Cavities need to be addressed right away to avoid further tooth decay on deeper layers of your teeth. Proper oral health care, especially brushing and flossing, can help prevent cavities, as can avoiding certain foods and drinks.
Reasons to Get a Cavity Filling
Untreated cavities get larger and deeper, affecting more layers of your teeth and leading to severe toothaches, infection and even tooth loss. Filling your cavities replaces the decayed material and prolongs the life of your natural teeth.
There are other reasons to get a filling as well, such as:
- To replace an old filling
- To repair a chipped or cracked tooth
- To strengthen a worn tooth
- To improve the look of your teeth
- To cover or protect sensitive areas
What are the signs you need a cavity filling?
The most common symptoms of cavities involve sensitivity, soreness or pain when chewing. Also, if you see a dark spot on a tooth or even a hole in a tooth, it could be a sign of a cavity. Sometimes, cavities aren’t obvious, which is why it’s important to get regular dental exams [links to: Cleaning & Oral Exams page].
If an old filling is cracked or loose, you have a cracked tooth, or are experiencing floss tears, you may need a filling. Either way, let us know about your concern or discomfort. We’ll take a look and determine if a filling is the best treatment.
Cavity Fillings FAQ
When you need a filling, you have several options available for the material:
- Composite resin
- Silver amalgam
- Glass ionomer
Composite resin is the most popular type as it has the color of a tooth. Silver amalgam remains popular, but continues to be used less frequently as people tend to prefer a tooth-colored filling when possible.
No one wants to have a cavity, but the fact is just about everyone will need a filling at some point during their lifetime. It’s extremely common and even more extremely important to have fixed before it becomes a worse problem. A cavity is filled in a single appointment.
- We numb your tooth.
- We remove any decay, then thoroughly clean the tooth.
- We place, shape and polish the filling.
We check to make sure your bite is right during and after the procedure, but if you feel like it’s a bit off following your filling, call us and we’ll adjust.
The better you take care of your fillings, the longer they last. Typically, a filling will last 5-10 years before it needs to be replaced.
Thankfully, caring for your fillings is much the same as your normal daily routine of caring for your oral health (and will also help prevent future cavities):
- Brush gently twice a day.
- Floss daily.
- Avoid chewing hard foods, including ice, that might cause a filling to crack.
We’re Ready to Help You
At Cajon Dental, everything we do is centered on you, your health and your experience.