The thought of having a tooth filled is somewhat daunting, but you can take some comfort in knowing that you are not alone: approximately 92% of Americans have had at least one cavity in his or her lifetime. Suffice it to say that dental fillings are normal for most people and because of this, we have honed this craft to a precision.
What are cavities?
A cavity is a hole in the tooth caused by tooth decay. There are bacteria in your mouth using that use sugar to create acid, which wears away the enamel to cause tooth decay and cavities.
Cavities should never be ignored. Not only can they cause pain and discomfort, bacteria can inflict serious damage, leading to tooth rot, tooth abscesses, or worse. Treating a cavity early on can prevent tooth loss and improve overall dental health.
Common symptoms of cavities include localized pain, sensitivity to temperatures, and discoloration of the affected tooth. Detecting cavities with the naked is not always viable, so dentists often use x-rays to find cavities that are hidden between teeth.
Your dentist can treat cavities with dental fillings, dental bridges, and a healthy dental care routine.
What are dental fillings?
After cleaning out a cavity, dentists use dental fillings to restore the look and functionality of the tooth. Dental fillings also serve to protect the tooth from further damage. Deep cavities can easily get infected by bacteria and result in a lot of pain, so they need to be filled and sealed.
Dental fillings are not one-size-fits-all and they consist of many different alloys or mixtures from silver amalgam, composite resin, plastic, porcelain, and gold. They can be used to fill the cavity, so there is no further damage or infection can ensue.
At New Generation Dentistry, we do not offer any metal alloy restoration for fillings or crowns. Instead, our Mission Viejo dentists offer strong, stain-resistant white fillings for anyone who is looking for a more natural filling.
How long does it take to get dental fillings?
Most patients can get all their cavities filled in just one appointment! The process is short and painless. The dentist will thoroughly clean out the cavity to ensure there’s no bacteria or decayed material in the area. Then the filling will be prepared and placed in the tooth. Finally, it is set with a special blue light.
Like regular teeth, dental fillings need proper care and maintenance to retain their function. If you have fillings, you still need to brush and floss regularly.
What dental fillings are right for me?
Keep in mind that all teeth cannot accept the same filling so this will vary, depending on which tooth is affected. Size, location, opposing teeth—all of these will determine which type filling will work best for your particular situation. Book an appointment or give us a call today, and our dentists in Mission Viejo will be happy to discuss the options with you.
Updated for 2019.