If you think you may need a filling, the best thing to do is pay a visit to your dentist and have yourself checked out. You can book an examination with Alkali Dental Studios in Putney, London here
Tooth decay is by far the most common reason you will need a filling, but you can also get cracked or broken teeth and damage caused by bruxism (teeth grinding). When you go for a dental examination, the dentist will use a metal explorer to check out the hardness of the enamel on your teeth. An X-ray of your dental area can also show up hidden areas of decay that may be of concern.
Leaving a cavity and not having it treated can lead to greater problems. Having a very deep filling may require the dentist to undertake more invasive root canal work.
How Are Fillings Made?
Your dentist will normally use local anaesthesia for the tooth that is going to be filled. This numbs the area and causes less discomfort during the procedure.
The dentist uses a handset with special burs attached to remove the decayed portion of your teeth, drilling and shaping the surrounding enamel. You will notice different speeds being used – faster when they are dealing with hard enamel and slower when they reach the softer dentin of your tooth.
There are different types of filling and your dentist will use one appropriate to your needs. Certain fillings are inserted and then hardened using a special light which produces long lasting and hardwearing results.
When your filling is inserted, the dentist will use the handset burs to finish and polish your teeth.
For a while after you have had a filling there may well be some sensitivity to air, sweet or cold food. Once the anaesthetic wears off you might occasionally notice small sharp edges in which case you should revisit your dentist to have them smoothed out.
What is a Temporary Filling?
If you need to have emergency dental work you may get a temporary filling because there is not enough time to do a full treatment. Another reason for having a temporary one is that your dentist wants to wait for your tooth to heal – this happens more with deeper cavities where the pulp becomes exposed during the initial treatment.
A temporary filling is there to seal your tooth while you wait for the final treatment. It protects you from bacteria and reduces sensitivity because it contains eugenol, similar to oil of cloves. It is not meant to last and should be replaced within a month or two.
Problems With Fillings:
Fillings are fixed into the cavity of your tooth and most last a lifetime. However, on occasion a filling can fall out. This sometimes happens if you bite down too hard on a tooth that has a large filling, causing it to crack. Composite fillings, as opposed to porcelain ones, are more susceptible to this. Saliva can also occasionally get into the cavity where the filling is being placed, preventing proper bonding between composite fillings and the tooth below.
You can book your next dental check up with Alkali Dental Studios in Putney, South West London here.