One of the reasons you brush, floss, and visit the dentist for dental cleanings is to prevent tooth decay and cavities. Unfortunately, these dental problems are fairly common and sometimes occur even when you have been taking perfectly good care of your teeth.
What Is Tooth Decay?
The hard outer surface of your teeth is composed of a tissue called tooth enamel, primarily made up of minerals like calcium, fluoride, and phosphorus. Tooth enamel is exposed to acid in acidic foods and drinks that you consume. The bacteria living in your mouth also produce acid as a waste product when they feed on sugars in your diet.
This acidic environment breaks down tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay. Left untreated, tooth decay eventually worsens, forming one or more dental cavities (also called dental caries) which are small holes in the enamel.
What Is a Dental Filling?
A dental filling is the most common treatment for a cavity. A dental filling is a substance used to fill in a cavity, restore the natural shape of the tooth, and protect the tooth from further decay.
Dental fillings were primarily made of a silver-colored metal amalgam. Today, they are most commonly made of a tooth-colored resin that can be selected in a shade to blend in seamlessly with a patient’s natural tooth.
Signs You Might Need a Dental Filling
The signs you might need a dental filling are the symptoms of tooth decay and dental cavities. These signs and symptoms include:
- Tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet foods, or pressure
- A black or brown spot on the tooth
- Food or dental floss getting always getting caught on the same area of a tooth
You might not be aware that you have a cavity or tooth decay in the early stages because they do not always cause symptoms or obvious signs until the decay is further progressed.
What To Expect When Getting a Dental Filling
Getting a dental filling is a fairly simple process. We first use a local anesthetic administered via injection near the treatment area. This ensures the patient is completely numb so that they do not experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
The dentist then uses a special dental drill to drill the tooth at the location of the cavity and remove all of the signs of decay and damaged tooth tissue. We then clean and sterilize the cavity before filling it with composite resin in a shade of ivory selected to match the patient’s natural tooth. The dental filling is then cured and set with a special light, and the patient is ready to return to their normal daily activities right away.
Prevent Tooth Decay With Preventive Dentistry Services in Bucyrus
The best treatment for tooth decay is to prevent it from occurring in the first place! You can protect your teeth from tooth decay by avoiding consuming sugary and acidic foods and beverages in addition to scheduling regular dental cleanings and getting in the habit of brushing and flossing your teeth every morning and night.
In addition to our preventive dental cleanings, we also provide patients with sealants and professional fluoride treatments to help prevent tooth decay, cavities, and the need for dental fillings. To learn more about these preventive treatments or to schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact Oakwood Dental today.