Tooth decay is progressive. When a tooth has been damaged by decay, it creates spaces for bacteria to enter and grow and cause even more cavities.
For many people, the best oral health care solution is a dental filling.
What is a Dental Filling?
During a dental filling procedure, the Pierce Aesthetics dentist first removes any decayed tooth material. Then, completely clean the area. Finally, the cavity will be packed with a special filling material. This restores normal shape and function. Even more importantly, it helps seal off the cavity and prevent future decay, damage, and pain.
How Do I Know If I Need Dental Fillings?
During routine checkups, the Pierce Aesthetics dentist will closely examine your teeth and determine if there are any cavities that need filling. Any abnormalities will be checked with special instruments and, if necessary, by taking an X-ray. If there is a problem, the proper treatment is determined by the extent of the damage.
If the tooth has decayed to the point that a dental filling is not an option, your dentist may recommend a dental crown instead.
However, if the damage has reached the nerve and is causing severe pain, your dentist may instead recommend one of two other options:
- Root canal therapy—The damaged nerve is removed.
- Pulp capping—Healthy pulp tissue is preserved by sealing the area with a cap
What Kinds of Dental Fillings are There?
There are four commonly-used dental fillings, each with specific advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages: Well-tolerated by gum tissues, durable, may last up to 20 years Disadvantages: Most expensive filling material, requires multiple visits
Advantages: Durable, relatively inexpensive Disadvantages: Dark-colored, noticeable, not a good option for visible areas
Advantages: Can be matched to tooth color, more natural appearance Disadvantages: Can chip or break over time, not as durable, only last up to 10 years, can become stained by coffee or tobacco
Advantages: Covers most of the tooth, can match tooth color, stain-resistant Disadvantage: Cost is similar to that of gold dental fillings
If you suffer from tooth decay and want to know what to do next, contact Pierce Aesthetics today to set an appointment.