While no one likes having a cavity, according to the CDC, over 90% of adults will have at least one cavity in their lifetime. A cavity is decay in and around the tooth that causes tiny holes to form in the tooth. The deeper the hole gets, the more serious—and more painful—the cavity is. The good news about this common issue is that there is a simple and relatively painless solution for people who have cavities, and that procedure is called a dental filling.
It’s never a good idea to ignore a cavity because it will only get worse. In addition, getting a dental filling to repair the cavity should completely fix the problem. Check out our list of the five things you should know about dental fillings to ease your mind about this common and effective dental procedure.
- Dental fillings are quick and easy.
Believe it or not, getting a dental filling should not take more than an hour. The first thing your dentist will do is to use a local anesthetic to numb the area where the filling will take place. Once the area is completely numb, your dentist will use a drill to remove the decay from the tooth. Once all the decay and bacteria are removed, your dentist will fill the hole with composite resin materials. Finally, the last step is to polish the tooth and smooth down the filling.
- Dental fillings will blend in with the rest of your teeth.
Wondering what your tooth will look like after a dental filling? The great news is that the filling material most dentists use, called composite resin, is tooth-colored and will completely blend in with the rest of your teeth. Once the procedure is finished, you won’t even be able to tell the difference between the filling and your natural tooth.
- Dental fillings may make your mouth sore for a couple of hours after the procedure.
Overall, recovering from a dental filling will be fast and minimally painful. However, as the local anesthetic wears off, you may experience some sensitivity or soreness around the tooth for a couple of hours. Your dentist may recommend taking Tylenol to help with any pain. It can also help to avoid very hot or very cold foods for a couple of days after a filling.
- Dental fillings don’t last forever.
While dental fillings don’t last forever, they typically last between five to twelve years. A great way to ensure your fillings will last a long time is to practice good dental hygiene. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing every day will help the fillings last for as long as possible. Avoiding bad habits like clenching or grinding your teeth will also help. Finally, visiting your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup will help you identify any trouble areas and ensure your fillings are in good condition.
- Dental fillings can prevent more costly treatment in the future.
As we already said, it’s never a good idea to ignore a cavity. The hole that has formed in your tooth will only grow deeper and wreak more havoc in your mouth. By addressing the problem early, you can simply get a dental filling which is quick and cost-effective. If the cavity continues to grow, it eventually moves to the root of your tooth. If a cavity has reached the root of the tooth, you will have to have a root canal. If a cavity gets too big, the tooth will have to be removed completely.
If your dentist finds a cavity, don’t worry. Dental fillings are fast, easy, and cause very little discomfort. Visiting your dentist twice a year for a checkup is the best way to detect early decay and prevent cavities from growing or getting worse. If you’re looking for a dentist, we would love to help you at Cornerstone Family Dentistry so make an appointment with us today!