What Are Dental Fillings And Why Are They Required?
A dental filling is a type of material that is used to restore a decayed, cracked or broken tooth. Cavities and cracks in a tooth provide an entryway for harmful bacteria to get beneath the enamel. This causes the tooth decay to get progressively worse. A filling seals off the opening and protects the tooth from further damage.
What To Expect At Your Dental Appointment
During a routine dental check-up, your dentist will examine the surfaces of each tooth thoroughly using a small long-handled mirror. If the dentist suspects a cavity, they will take a closer look using special instruments or take an X-Ray. On confirming the presence of a cavity or a crack, they will recommend that you get it filled.
To proceed with the filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material and clean the affected area. They will then use filling material to fill the cavity that they just cleaned out.
What Happens If You Delay Getting A Dental Filling Done
Cavities start off small and are unnoticeable at first. If left untreated, the ongoing action of the bacteria can result in further erosion of the enamel. This exposes the dentin that lies just below. Bacteria acting on the dentin cause it to get infected and become highly sensitive.
It is far easier and much less painful to fill a cavity in the initial stages when only the surface enamel is affected. The dental filling procedure is simple and painless. However, fillings are only suitable for treating minor cavities and fractures. If the cavity is not filled on time and the infection reaches the nerve, you’ll need more extensive treatment.
You may not know that you have a cavity during the initial stages. You’ll only feel the pain when your tooth’s dentin is exposed. This is why it is so important to schedule regular dental visits. Your dentist will be able to detect the smallest cavity and fill it before it does any more damage.
A Look At The Wide Array Of Dental Filling Materials
Dental fillings are available in a wide range of materials. Each of these has their own unique properties and advantages. Your dentist will recommend the most appropriate material depending on a few factors. The tooth that needs to be filled and its strength requirements are the main considerations when choosing an appropriate filling material. The dentist may recommend any one of these materials to fill the cavity or crack and restore your tooth.
- Composite resin
- Glass-ionomer cement
Fillings do undergo wear and tear just like your other teeth. With time, fillings can chip or crack creating an opening for the bacteria to go through to the dentin. If you’ve gotten any cavity fillings done, your dentist will check that the material is intact during your routine checkup. In case of any damage, they will recommend the best treatment option depending on the tooth and the extent of the damage.