If you’ve been told you have a cavity that needs filling, you may wonder what exactly is involved in the process. Filling cavities plays a crucial role in upholding oral well-being. Please keep reading to learn what fillings entail and why they’re crucial for your teeth.
Understanding Cavity Fillings: What Are They and How Do They Work?
A cavity filling is a restoration placed into a hole or space worn into your tooth enamel. This hole forms when plaque bacteria consume sugars, creating acid that eats away tooth structure. If not treated promptly, decay can penetrate deep into the tooth and damage the pulp tissue inside.
Dentists use filling materials to plug and seal these holes after removing all the decayed material. Fillings help halt further decay and restore the natural shape and function of the tooth. They prevent more serious dental work down the road.
Today’s standard filling materials include composite resin, which matches the color of your teeth, or silver amalgam. Your dentist in Brentwood will determine the best type of filling for your needs.
When Is a Cavity Filling Necessary?
It’s critical to get cavity fillings as soon as your local dentist for tooth decay recommends them. Here are some signs you may need a filling:
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth
- Brown or black spots on teeth
- Pain or sensitivity when eating hot, cold, or sweet foods
- Lingering pain in a specific tooth
The quicker you can fill a cavity, the less tooth structure is lost. Large, advanced decay leaves you at risk for root canals, crowns, or tooth extractions down the road. Take your time getting cavities addressed.
How Long Does a Cavity Filling Take?
The length of your dental filling visit depends on the size and location of your cavity. Simple fillings could take as little as 30-60 minutes. More complex fillings that require numbing may take up to 90 minutes. You can expect the process to involve:
- Numbing the area if needed
- Removing decayed material
- Shaping and cleaning out the cavity
- Applying bonding material to strengthen the remaining tooth
- Filling the hole and sealing for a tight fit
- Trimming access and shaping for natural form
While every filling differs, your dentist will work as quickly and comfortably as possible. Talk to your cavity-filling dentist about what to expect for your particular case.
How Do Regular Dental Checkups Help in Early Detection?
Catching cavities early is the key to less invasive, shorter fillings. That’s why regular dental exams and cleanings are so important. Your Brentwood dentist will:
- Check for holes or discoloration, indicating decay
- Take x-rays to detect issues between teeth
- Feel for soft spots that signal advanced decay
Routine exams allow dentists to find cavities when they are small and easy to treat. Fillings are much simpler when decay is spotted early.
Take your twice-yearly dental visits. These professional cleanings also remove harmful plaque before it can destroy more enamel. Preventive care is the first line of defense against cavities!
Benefits of Cavity Fillings
Seeking prompt dental filling services in Brentwood, Los Angeles, provides multiple oral health benefits:
- Stops decay and prevents its spread to other teeth
- Alleviates tooth sensitivity and pain
- Restores natural tooth structure and appearance
- It allows you to chew and function normally
- It saves your tooth, so more invasive treatments aren’t needed
Cavity fillings are an indispensable part of thorough dental care. While brushing and flossing help prevent fillings, treating decay promptly when found is important. This protects your broader smile in the long run.
Cavity fillings are a safe, effective way to repair tooth decay before it jeopardizes oral health. Consult experienced dentists like those at Brentwood Dental Art if you notice potential signs of cavities. Professional filling treatment can keep your smile strong and prevent more dental problems.