Did you know that tooth decay is considered the most common chronic disease in the United States? Over 90 percent of American adults struggle with some degree of tooth decay, even despite having a solid oral hygiene regimen in place. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to a host of problems such as tooth loss, abscesses, and dangerous infections. We here at The Elmwood Dental Group LLC like to act quickly when we notice one of our valued patients have a cavity, and one of the primary ways we treat tooth decay is with dental fillings. For many of our patients, this can help save their tooth and protect their overall health.
What Do I Need to Know About Dental Fillings?
Many people mistakenly believe that dental cavities are a cosmetic concern, and while that is technically true, the reality is that tooth decay can quickly become a much worse problem if left untreated. Tooth decay can quickly spread into the tooth root and the gums, leading to a massive and dangerous infection that can become life-threatening. Early treatment of it, therefore, is essential to help preserve your wellbeing.
The location and the severity of the tooth decay largely determine the type of dental filling that we recommend to our patients. Not all types of tooth decay are easily detected at home on your own, making regular checkups all the more important. Signs that you may have tooth decay include an ongoing toothache, pain when you bite or chew, sensitivity to heat or cold, and pain when you eat sugary foods. You may also notice visible stains or areas of discoloration on your teeth, which may indicate you have a dental cavity (also known as dental caries).
Types of Dental Fillings
There are three main types of fillings that we typically recommend to our patients. The first type of filling is called composite resin. This is made of glass and plastic and can be dyed to match your teeth. It looks natural, like real tooth, and is a good choice for your front teeth. Because it can be brittle, it is not recommended for molars. Gold is also a good choice but is falling out of popularity due to its color. It is very strong and reliable. Lastly, we like to recommend porcelain fillings for our patients. Like composite resin, it is tooth colored. It is less brittle and fragile than composite resin and is less likely to stain or chip over time. They can be used on molars, as well.
Call Our Office Right Away if You Think You Need a Filling
If you need a dental filling, we will start by using a local analgesic at the site of the procedure. We will then carefully remove all of the areas of tooth decay before placing the filling material on the tooth. A little bit of sensitivity is not uncommon after the procedure, and you may take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen if you need it. If you suspect that you may need a dental filling, or if it has been longer than six months since your last dental appointment, please give us here at The Elmwood Dental Group LLC a call at (860) 331-8748!