What Exactly Are Dental Fillings?

fillingThe last thing you want is a cavity. From a young age, it is ingrained in us to brush our teeth twice a day and visit the dentist regularly to prevent decay. Despite our life-long, best efforts, cavities can still occur. In fact, close to 90% of American adults have gotten at least one in their life. When or if you do have a cavity, the most common solution is a filling. In today’s blog, your Houston, TX, dentist discusses specifics behind cavities and how fillings can help.

What Is A Cavity?

You certainly know cavities are bad, but the specific details aren’t discussed too frequently. They are essentially a type of decay. Lifestyle choices — like diet — usually cause them. That said, genetics can also affect how susceptible you are. Sugary and acidic foods and drinks are common culprits too. The most common kind of cavities is coronal ones. These are found on the chewing surfaces of your teeth, usually on molars, and between them. Root cavities are another type. As the name suggests, these are found in the roots of your teeth when your gum line recedes. It is crucial to treat tooth decay as quickly as possible, so it doesn’t end up hurting the nerves deeper in your teeth, which can then cause more severe issues like abscesses. Ultimately, only your dentist can inform you of one’s presence. 

What Happens If I Have One?

If one develops, your dentist will most likely suggest a filling. They will look for signs of abnormality when you come in for a check-up and cleaning. If they do determine that there is decay, your dentist will proceed with the procedure, which will get your tooth back to its normal health. There are several types made from different materials ranging from metal and metal amalgam to tooth-colored composite resins. Metal fillings are usually used to address mild to moderate decay. Resin ones are better on more visible teeth because they blend in seamlessly. There are different benefits to each, and your dentist can recommend the one that’s right for your needs.

What Is The Procedure Like?

First, your dentist will give you local anesthesia, so you will not feel any pain. Next, they carefully drill into your enamel to remove any decay and then shape the space, so it can properly fit the filling. After the tooth is prepped, they will place it. Finally, they finish and polish the tooth so the new filling won’t feel out of place in your mouth. In the following weeks, your tooth might feel a little extra sensitive, but you shouldn’t worry. If you do experience persistent pain, please reach out to your dentist. 

Contact Us If you Have Questions about Fillings

Tooth decay needs to be treated as quickly as possible, so if you have concerns, schedule an appointment and contact your Houston, TX, dentist, Dr. Vlachakis, by calling 281-974-4494. You can also visit Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry at 820 Gessner Rd., Suite #1560 Houston, TX 77024. 

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Looking for a dentist you can trust? Give us a call today to experience everything Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry has to offer.