Cavities can happen to anyone — even those of us who are committed to practicing excellent oral hygiene. When tooth decay must be excavated, the leftover space is filled with tiny restorations known as dental fillings. Fillings rehabilitate the tooth, helping it to reclaim a normal appearance and form. The restorations also strengthen the tooth so it can chew and bite normally.
Fillings are designed to last for many years without problems. When placed by a knowledgeable dental expert like Dr. Robert Steinberger of East Tremont Dental, fillings can look beautiful and last for many years.
When Are Fillings Recommended?
Most fillings are used to repair teeth affected by cavities. The mouth contains bacteria that can combine with leftover food particles to form a sticky film called plaque that covers the teeth. Plaque produces acid byproducts that eat away at the tooth’s outer surface (enamel), slowly creating holes in the teeth known as cavities. In addition to noticeable holes or pits in the teeth, cavities can cause toothaches and/or sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages.
If cavities are left untreated, the acids in the plaque can continue to destroy the layers of tooth structure, and the holes can grow bigger. Eventually, the holes can expose the inner tooth material, or dental pulp, which is a soft connective tissue containing nerves and blood vessels. At this point, it may be extremely painful to bite or chew, or the tooth may feel very sensitive. Should the pulp become infected, root canal therapy is required to save the tooth.
The most effective treatment for a cavity is to place a dental filling. Fillings prevent the holes or pits from getting bigger. They also restore the tooth to its normal form and function and can stop the uncomfortable symptoms associated with cavities.
Fillings are also used to repair teeth that have cracked due to a dental injury, chronic tooth clenching/grinding or other factors.
What Does Placing a Dental Filling Involve?
Dental filling work can be completed during a single appointment. After evaluating the affected tooth and taking X-rays to ascertain the extent of the cavity, Dr. Steinberger will review the available filling materials and help you select the right choice for your needs and personal preferences.
Before starting any work, Dr. Steinberger will numb your tooth to prevent pain or discomfort. Next, he will remove decayed or damaged tooth enamel. Then, he will place the filling material in the hole or pit. Depending on the material, he may need to harden it with a special light. When Dr. Steinberger is finished, he will polish the tooth.
Fillings can last for many years with the proper care and maintenance. They should be checked regularly for signs of wear and tear, as the edges can become rough over time or the filling material can deteriorate, making it easier for plaque to accumulate in the tiny grooves or fissures.
Contact East Tremont Dental
If you are experiencing symptoms of a cavity, you should be screened by our team today. Please contact East Tremont Dental to schedule an appointment at our practice.