Bacteria living inside your mouth and certain foods and drinks expose teeth to acids that can break down the enamel on your teeth. This process is called tooth decay. Left untreated, tooth decay can lead to small holes called dental caries or cavities in a tooth.
What Is a Dental Filling?
A dental filling is the simplest and most frequently recommended method of treating a cavity and preventing further tooth decay.
Our dentists use dental fillings to fill dental caries, preventing them from growing larger by halting the spread of decay. Additionally, dental fillings stabilize the compromised tooth by restoring the holes formed by tooth decay, which can grow and weaken a tooth if left untreated.
When a cavity exposes your tooth’s sensitive layer of dentin or its interior pulp, this can also cause quite a bit of pain and sensitivity, and getting a filling will help you find relief.
What Are Dental Fillings Made Of?
In the past, dental fillings were made of a silver amalgam material, which is dark in color and very noticeable inside the mouth. This concerned many patients about the way their dental fillings would look.
Today, however, dental fillings are available in a variety of materials. The type of fillings our dentists most commonly use is called composite resin. This is a hard plastic formulated to match a tooth’s natural color and blend seamlessly into a patient’s smile.
Is It Always Necessary to Fill Cavities?
Left untreated, dental caries will grow, eating away at the structure of a tooth and producing larger cavities. Eventually, these cavities will weaken the structure of a tooth, making it susceptible to breaking or cracking, in addition to causing pain or trouble when chewing.
As cavities continue to grow, the pulp or interior of a tooth can also become exposed and vulnerable to bacterial infections that can be painful and compromise the entire tooth — roots and all. This type of cavity can lead to tooth loss, neighboring infections, abscesses, and periodontal disease.
To prevent further tooth decay and more serious oral health complications, it is necessary to fill cavities. In fact, our dentists at Eastgate Dental Excellence always recommend treating a patient’s cavities as early as possible to prevent the need for more extensive or invasive treatments, such as root canal therapy, later on.
Do Dental Fillings Hurt? What to Expect When You Need a Filling
With a local anesthetic, getting a dental filling is a relatively pain-free and simple dental appointment. We do our best to ensure our patients always have a relaxing and comfortable experience in our office.
Most dental filling appointments require the use of local anesthetics only. If, however, you are concerned about your upcoming appointment, we welcome you to ask our dentists about sedation dentistry and the treatment options that are available to help you stay comfortable and relaxed throughout the dental filling appointment.
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3241 Mount Carmel Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45244