One of the more common treatments in dentistry is the dental filling. It’s used to restore a tooth when a cavity develops. However, receiving the care you need depends on being able to recognize the warning signs early. Otherwise, you could be left with a more complex problem that requires a root canal. As you continue reading, a dentist in Dublin explains how to tell when it’s time to visit a dentist for a dental filling.
The Era of Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings
If a cavity (tiny hole) develops from prolonged plaque accumulation, a dental filling can be used to restore the tooth. In times past, amalgam (metal) fillings were commonly used because of their durability and cost effectiveness. Unfortunately, they left patients with glaring chunks of metal that could easily be seen.
In the new era of dentistry, tooth-colored fillings have become the standard. Instead of metal, the tooth is restored with compound resin material that allows for the preservation of more of the original structure. Additionally, patients are left with a durable and more aesthetically pleasing smile.
Indicators That You Need a Dental Filling
Here are some of the common warning signs that you have a cavity and need a dental filling:
- Tooth sensitivity – Are you sensitive to hot or cold foods or beverages? If so, it could be an indicator that a cavity has left a portion of the dentin exposed (the sensitive portion of the tooth that lies beneath the enamel).
- Dental floss tears – Have you noticed that when you floss around certain teeth, the flexible material becomes frayed? This could be the result of the floss passing over a cavity.
- Damage to a previous filling – One of the problems with amalgam fillings is that they eventually fail, often breaking off in small chunks. This can leave sensitive parts of your tooth exposed, and it should immediately be brought to a dentist’s attention.
- Dark spots – The enamel is the tooth’s first line of defense. As a cavity wears it down and leaves the darkly colored dentin exposed, dark spots can develop on the tooth.
- Pain when biting down – If you notice pain when you bite into food, it could be the result of decay that is triggered when pressure is applied.
Identifying the warning signs of a cavity is just the first step. Taking effective action is of equal importance. Dental fillings can only be helpful if you seek care in a timely manner. After taking action and having your tooth restored, you can then take the necessary steps to prevent the same situation in the future!
About the Author
Dr. Eric Buck earned his dental degree from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. Throughout a career that has spanned over 15 years, he has always placed an emphasis on preventive and restorative care. A member of the Academy of General Dentistry, Spear Education Society and several other organizations, Dr. Buck restores teeth with tooth-colored fillings at Distinctive Smiles, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.