Uncover the importance of dental fillings and their role in preserving your teeth.
Maintaining your oral health is reliant upon properly caring for your teeth and gums. Visiting the dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings twice a year helps both the functionality and aesthetics of your mouth. Your dentist is often the first to notice if something is awry and can determine the necessary steps to avoid further complications. Is it time for a dental filling? This is one of the most common dental issues that your dentist will discover during a routine check-up.
Why Do You Need a Dental Filling?
Perhaps you injured your tooth during a sports game, and it is now chipped or cracked. Maybe it has started to decay due to improper care, or perhaps you have some discolouring you would like to get rid of. These are all reasons for a filling.
Some other reasons for a filling are:
- Gives you self-confidence because it improves the look of your smile.
- Eliminate the pain or discomfort due to a cavity that is getting close to the root of your tooth.
- Helps avoid infection and an abscess when damage gets close to the root.
- Saves you time and money from needing further, more complicated treatment.
What Types of Filings Are There?
Depending on your preference and situation, your dentist will recommend the kind of filling that will benefit you the most. There are four types of tooth fillings.
1. Amalgam Fillings – The most common type of filling has been used for multiple years. It is quite strong and long-lasting. For this reason, it is often used for molars where most of the chewing action happens. Amalgam fillings are made of metallics, typically gold or silver, and might be noticeable when you smile or open your mouth, but they are the least expensive. You can choose between the two colours; however, gold is more expensive though slightly stronger.
2. Composite Fillings – Also known as tooth-coloured fillings because they match the colour of your teeth, these are the most natural-looking fillings. Made of glass or quartz filler, they are considerably durable and suit small-medium restorations.
3. Ceramic Fillings – These are great for covering up discolouration as they are tooth-coloured. This option can be pricey, but they really do look great.
4. Glass Ionomer Fillings – Blended of glass and acrylic, this type of filling is unique since it releases fluoride to help protect your teeth. The only thing is it may need to be replaced every so often since it can be less durable than some other types of fillings.
Replacing a Tooth Filling
Most fillings, though they help protect your teeth, only last for so long. Eventually, you may have to get a tooth refilled. Your dentist can notice cracks or worn-out areas in an already-filled tooth and let you know it is time to get a dental filling again. Signs of needing a new filling are a cracked or damaged tooth or sensitivity to hot and cold. If the damage is severe enough, your dentist might suggest a root canal.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental treatment where the infected pulp is removed from a tooth, a temporary filling is placed on it, and then a crown is made to cover the entire area. While not all teeth require a crown, it may be necessary if there is not enough enamel left to hold a permanent filling in place. Most people think root canals are painful, but this is far from true. They take away the pain you experience as a result of the infection. Teeth that are damaged down to the root usually require a root canal treatment. Your dentist may recommend the use of anesthesia, so you are comfortable while the work is being completed.
How to Avoid a Root Canal
To avoid a root canal, you need to take care of your teeth. This involves brushing and flossing regularly to get rid of plaque and tartar, visiting your dentist twice a year, and rinsing your mouth with mouthwash. Drinking lots of water also helps in keeping your teeth clean, especially after consuming food and drink.
All Filled In
A dental filling is never something you look forward to, but when required it will help to avoid further dental issues. At Glenbrook Dental, we focus on helping you maintain healthy teeth and gums. The health of your mouth affects your mental and physical well-being, so it is important to continue a proper home routine before, during, and after your regularly scheduled dentist appointments.