If tooth decay progressively develops over long periods of time, cavities are not far behind. If you don’t act fast, it can cause major complications to your oral health in the long run. Fortunately, filling in cavities is a great solution in treating them.
Today, the McAllen family dentist of WhiteWing Dental has created an in-depth guide that explains how the procedure works and shows you what you can expect coming in and going out of a cavity-filling procedure.
What are Cavity Fillings?
Cavity fillings are needed when excessive tooth decay drills its way into your tooth enamel, developing into a cavity. Some of the most notable symptoms may include ongoing bad breath, stained yellow teeth, sensitive teeth, and bleeding gums.
When you don’t take care of the problem right away, the cavity itself can potentially grow in size and lead to gum diseases or tooth loss.
With this being said, cavity fillings are designed to eliminate that hole in your tooth by sealing it with a specific material–detailed below–to help prevent further tooth decay from developing within the impacted area.
A typical filling can be good for up to 5-7 years and may need additional dental visits for maintenance once installed.
Types of Fillings
There are different types of dental fillings that all serve specific purposes. Some of the most common types of materials used for dental fillings include:
Amalgam Fillings: These traditional types of fillings are commonly used because they provide strength and texture that is ideal to the impacted area while protecting your tooth from potential threats for years to come. While these fillings are often the most economical option, they can be visible when one is actively speaking or smiles.
Composite Fillings (also known as resin fillings): These types of fillings can provide a more natural look as they are made out of glassy quartz fillers, silica, or other composite materials. While they may not last as long as amalgam fillings, they do have the ability to match any surrounding colors within the teeth that can easily make the actual filling unnoticeable.
Metal: While they may be a lot more expensive than the standard choice, dental fillings that are made out of gold or silver are known to last anywhere from 10-15 years. However, these types of fillings are not very common and can be extremely noticeable.
Ceramic: These types of fillings are made out of porcelain and can last as long as 15 years.
It is important to schedule a proper dental examination with the McAllen family dentist at WhiteWing Dental as soon as you possibly can in order to determine what cavity filling is right for you.
The Procedure Broken Down
To eliminate any confusion or anxiety about this procedure, here is what you can expect when you go in to get your cavity filled in.
1. Administering local anesthesia and desensitizing your mouth
Prior to the procedure, your dentist will administer a local anesthesia in order to completely numb the area.
2. Extracting the decay
Once you have been properly been administered the anesthesia and the affected area has been desensitized, your dentist will proceed to drill into the decay that has caused the cavity in the first place. While this may sound scary, it is often quite painless because of the local anesthesia.
When your dentist has extracted the decay, he will proceed to give the impacted area a proper cleaning to get rid of any other bacteria and leftover debris.
3. Filling up the actual cavity
Finally, your dentist will fill up the cavity with the appropriate material. Once the tooth has been filled, your dentist will make any final adjustments and give it a good polish. They will also want to make sure your newly installed filling will not interfere with your chewing.
Things to Keep in Mind Following the Procedure
After your dentist has finished the procedure, your mouth will most likely remain numb for the next few hours or until the anesthetic has worn out.
Your dentist will give you specific instructions on how to take care of your filling, advising you to avoid any kind of chewing until the anesthesia wears off. This is to prevent you from accidentally biting your tongue, lips, or cheeks.
You may also experience some sensitivity, pain, and discomfort within the impacted area, but that should go away after a couple of days. If you continue to experience this type of pain, do not hesitate to contact your dentist right away!
Tips To Avoid Cavities
Perhaps the best and most effective way to avoid potential cavities, is to remain consistent with practicing a proper dental hygiene routine on a daily basis.
A good daily dental hygiene routine should consist of:
- Brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day with an American Dental Association (ADA) approved, fluoride-based toothpaste.
- Flossing at least once a day in order to get rid of any leftover food particles or plaque.
- Use an (ADA) approved antibacterial mouthwash, preferably non-alcoholic, in order to rinse out any leftover bacteria.
- Limit the number of times you consume sugary and acidic foods or drinks.
In Need of a Cavity Filling? Get in Touch With WhiteWing Dental!
The McAllen family dentists at WhiteWing Dental are able to serve all clients, regardless of their age with all of cavity fillings or any other of their dental needs.
Our dentist and staff are taking all proper sanitary and social distancing precautions possible in order to ensure the smoothest and safest dental experience for our guests.
Contact WhiteWing Dental to book your next dental examination and tooth-filling procedure today!