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Dental Fillings | How to Look After Them?

Posted in Family Dentistry

A Typical Filling

So, your dentist discovers a cavity in one of your teeth! The most common treatment for cavities is to get a filling. After some sedation around the tooth needing the work done, Dr. Kapadia will gently remove or clean out the decay found in and around the cavity. By doing this, she creates a smooth clean surface for the composite resin (the filling) to bond to. Sometimes a blue light is used to speed up the hardening process of the resin or filling. After shaping the filling and testing it for bite alignment, Dr. Kapadia will then buff and polish it. Once finished, it’s hard to tell the difference between the filling and the tooth.

For decades, fillings have been the best solution for fixing cavities and prolonging the life of your teeth. However, fillings don’t guarantee total protection from tooth decay. You will need to avoid damaging your dental fillings, because if one becomes loose or cracked, tooth decay can develop under it.

Don’t Wait

It’s important to get damaged fillings fixed quickly. Even the smallest cracks in a filling can allow bacteria into your tooth. The broken resin then acts as a shield preventing you from accessing and removing the intruders. Tooth decay can then progress rapidly. If decay reaches the pulp, or inner layer of the tooth, a root canal may be needed. Worse still, if really bad, a tooth extraction might become necessary! So, if you notice any damage to a filling, or even if you suspect it, visit Clearview Dental ASAP.

Common Ways to Damage Dental Fillings

Many of the things that commonly damage your dental fillings can be prevented. We all have our habits, but if yours is chewing ice cubes, you are likely to damage a filling. Like our teeth, fillings also have a breaking point. Chewing ice can easily crack teeth and fillings.

Bruxism is the dental term for grinding your teeth. Habitually grinding your teeth can also damage fillings over time and wear down tooth surfaces. The resin used for fillings is extremely hard and durable, but it can only take so much pressure. Generally, the larger the filling, the weaker it can be. Even biting down on a filling too hard can cause damage.

Symptoms of a Damaged Filling

Damage to fillings is often not easy to see. Some mistake tartar breaking off a tooth to be a filling falling out as it can feel similar. The most common ways that people discover a broken or missing filling is from experiencing symptoms. You may notice some or all of the following symptoms if you have an issue with a filling.

  • Pain when you bite down
  • A piece of the filling comes out
  • A sharp edge develops on your teeth
  • A filling begins to move
  • Increased sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Sensitivity to sweet foods and beverages
  • A new toothache

Fillings Are Not Permanent

Keep the right point of view on fillings. They may last a long time, but don’t view them as permanent. Depending on the person, fillings usually last 3-12 years. If you want to avoid damaging your dental fillings and keep them longer you should keep a good dental routine. Brush and floss twice each day. Visit Clearview Dental every six to nine months so that Dr. Kapadia can check your existing fillings for damage. Have a professional cleaning by a qualified hygienist regularly, and avoid hard, tooth shattering foods like ice and popcorn. Remember, if you suspect filling damage, See your dentist right away.

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Dentist or other healthcare providers regarding a dental condition or treatment.