June 8, 2023
Of all of the things that can threaten the well-being of your pearly whites, tooth decay is arguably the most common and most serious of these issues. And it doesn’t just threaten your dental hygiene—it can also cause you quite a bit of pain! Luckily, dental fillings are among the many solutions used to address tooth decay; however, it’s not always obvious when a filling is needed. Keep reading to learn more from your dentist about how fillings can be used to effectively combat and prevent decay, along with some signs that indicate you might need one.
How Do Dental Fillings Assist with Tooth Decay?
To put it simply, a dental filling is a dental procedure used to restore part of a tooth that has been damaged by decay. The primary objective is to remove the decayed area, clean it thoroughly, and then fill the void with filling material, thus returning the tooth to a normal shape, and restoring its functionality. There are a number of materials that can be used for these fillings; silver-colored amalgam fillings used to be quite popular, but these days, composite resin or porcelain fillings are also utilized. Under ideal circumstances, dental fillings can last for a decade or so, but their lifespan depends on factors including the material it was made from combined with the patient’s commitment to oral hygiene.
Signs You Might Need a Dental Filling
Fortunately, little guesswork is often required to determine if a dental filling is needed. Your dentist is qualified to examine your mouth, evaluate the severity of the dental decay, and conjure a treatment plan accordingly. Sometimes X-rays are needed to assist with this. That said, here are a few common signs and symptoms that usually indicate a filling might benefit a patient:
- Tooth sensitivity, especially when consuming hot or cold items.
- Throbbing or sharp oral pain.
- A noticeably chipped or cracked tooth.
- Damage to a previous dental filling.
- Floss strands become torn after flossing.
- Food constantly becoming stuck between teeth.
- Dark spots or holes in teeth.
Even if you’re at the top of your dental hygiene game, dental decay is still a possibility—but you can rest assured that fillings are non-invasive, convenient, and capable solutions for addressing the issue and getting your smile the help it needs!
About the Author
Dr. Mahima Gupta received her DDS from the New York University College of Dentistry and has proudly served patients and families in the Lancaster, TX community for several years. She’s a member of numerous professional dental organizations and maintains a Fellowship with the prestigious Academy of General Dentistry. If you have any questions about the blog or her practice, don’t hesitate to reach out online or by phone for further information or assistance. Telephone: (469) 729-7707.
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