Dental filling involves the filling of the cavity which is a hole formed in the teeth or chipped tooth damages. The teeth cavity enlarges with time and through time, spotting and filling them earlier prevents future problems, and this can only be possible by visiting the dentist for check-ups.
If you don’t treat a cavity and chipped tooth, it can lead to toothache having an infection, cause bad breath, fracturing, and tooth loss.
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Reasons for dental filling
No one is exempted when it comes to a dental filling, both the young and old gets it. If you are having a sudden pain while biting, having sensitiveness while taking either cold or hot stuff and dabbling toothache. Also if you notice food getting caught within damaged tooth or cavity.
Having tooth decay which is a common cause for tooth filling. Bacterias that feed on starches and sugars left on the tooth after eating or drinking which can cause plaque to form. Plague acids dissolve and softens the enamel causing small holes than can later expand. The enamel is the protective coating on the teeth.
Having acid erosion is when the coating of protective enamel is worn out due to acids found in some foods and drinks. Another cause of acid erosion is from a medical condition like hiatus hernia or reflux.
Having chipping which can be caused by chipped or broken tooth either due to chewing on something hard or injury. An injury on the tooth will expose the inner parts of the tooth to erosion.
Having abrasion and attrition caused by the tooth getting worn out due to hard brushing or in most cases people who grind their teeth.
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How dental filling work
In most cases of dental filling with materials, the tooth is not required to be removed unless necessary, in which case the dentist uses an anaesthetic injection to numb the area for treatment.
After which either the part of the weakened tooth or the decayed tooth will be removed, shaped, cleaned, and dried to make the filling.
The last stage is to fill the cavity using an amalgam or composite filling. After this, the dentist checks after the teeth are been put in place to make sure your bites are ok.
Types of dental fillings
Remember that dental filling is a treatment, and before this could happen depends on the type of damage, how much damage and what tooth is affected.
Amalgam is a very hard-wearing which is a combination of metal including silver, copper, and tin, usually used for back teeth fillings. This type of filling can last a long time, about 40 years if you take care of the teeth. Usually, pregnant women are not treated with amalgam.
Composite filling or white filling which are privately available are usually used to match the color of your teeth. The composite filling appears natural and is usually used on the most visible tooth.
Inlays and Overlays
These sets of fillings are usually used on chewing surfaces like the back of teeth and can fit into the teeth hole. They are only used if using the standard filling isn’t viable.
The overlays are build up in the shape of your tooth and are made from porcelain, metal, or composite. The porcelain is more of the invisible type if you want something unnoticeable.
This is a different treatment from the standard filling. The root canal treatment is usually done when the teeth cavity is a deep or damaged center of the tooth, this is to avoid the complete removal of the teeth.
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Things to expect after tooth filling
- After the treatment of the gum, cheeks, lips, and tongue will feel numb due to the anesthetic injection.
- Difficulty chewing, talking, and drinking and also some tingling after sensation returns to normal.
- To protect the filling or biting your mouth avoid chewing anything on the side of the treatment.
- Sensitive to hot and cold after or up to a week, but if this continues after the said period, contact the dentist.
To avoid another fillings, do this
- Change your toothbrush at least once a month including toothbrush head for electric toothbrush users
- Brush twice a day for at least two minutes
- Use the appropriate toothpaste, like non-fluoride toothpaste
- Clean between the tooth (flossing) before brushing.
- Book dentist appointment regularly
- Avoid eating sugary or acidic drinks and food
Can I brush my teeth after filling?
You can brush your teeth after a dental filling at least twice a day and continue with teeth flossing once a day. It is always recommended for the next 2 weeks you should avoid any hard, chewy, or sticky foods after you’ve had a dental filling.
How long do dental fillings last?
A dental filling can last a long time, usually about 8 to 40 years or more. Usually, a filling will last anywhere from 7 to 40 years if you take proper care of it. Another contributing factor is the size, location of the filling, and how you maintain dental hygiene.
Do dental fillings hurt?
The dental filling does not hurt, the process is an easy and comfortable process. This is because, the main reason for the filling might be caused by a decayed tooth that hurts due to cavity, and the filling is a treatment to stop the pains. The dentist will use an anesthetic to numb the area so you don’t feel any pain while the drilling takes place.
Which material is best for tooth filling?
The material best for a tooth filling, in my opinion, is porcelain or dental ceramics. It is best used for tooth restoration which can last a long time if well looked after through good oral hygiene and regular check-ups.
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What happens if you don’t get a cavity filled?
A cavity is when bacteria penetrate your teeth and establishes a comfortable territory to multiple. It is usually caused by poor oral hygiene, eating too much sugary and acidic drinks or food. A bacteria-infected tooth can cause huge damage to your tooth which will require different forms of treatment depending on how badly damaged.
If you decide to leave cavity unreated, this will happen:
It will expand its territory
Leaving cavities untreated increases the bacteria in size and quantity, it will penetrate deeper into the tooth. When this happens, the cavity will increase in size. The bigger and larger the bacteria, the bigger and dipper the cavity which will then cause the teeth to crack causing you severe pain.
It will damage the nerves
The untreated cavities will nose-dive deep affecting the nerves or root, and a damaged nerve is where the pain is felt the more. This is when a more serious treatment is carried out, either a root canal treatment or tooth removal or extraction treatment.
Firstly, a bacteria infection is not good for your tooth, leaving the cavity untreated and penetrating into the roots will certainly expose your body to infections.
Things to note:
- Untreated cavities will result in infections
- Once infected, you will be put on an antibiotic by the dentist
- Untreated dental infections can be very serious
- Untreated cavities can cause your jaw to swell
- Untreated cavities can turn out to be extremely painful
The three types of cavities
Root decay is one of the most common types of cavities that affects the root surface of teeth, and it is common amongst adults with a likely receding gums.
Pit and fissure decay
The pits and fissure decay affects mostly the back teeth on the chewing surface. This type of decay can become more serious if proper care is not taking, like maintaining oral hygiene. Brush your tooth properly twice a day to avoid this type of tooth decay.
Smooth surface decay
The smooth surface decay is a typical example of untreated cavities, which then builds up plaque. It usually occurs on the flat surface of the teeth. It is mostly a mild problem then can turn severe, just by flossing and brushing with fluoride, this can be treated.
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What are symptoms of having cavities?
- Extreme pain
- Sudden pains without a cause
- Tooth sensitivity
- Very sharp or mild pain when drinking or eating (cold or hot)
- Having a visible hole or pit in your teeth
- Stain on the surface of teeth, either black stain, brown stain, or white stain