Most of us learn early in life that we need to keep our teeth clean or else we will get a cavity. Unfortunately, we are also trained that we’d better not get a cavity or else we will need a “filling”. To take some of the scary out of the process, let’s discuss exactly what goes down when we need a filling.
What Is a Filling?
A filling is a tooth restoration used to repair a tooth that has been damaged due to decay or fracture. The most common application for a filling is on the chewing surface of our back teeth, so let’s use that for our example.
How Do Cavities Occur?
A cavity starts in the grooves of our back teeth when food gets stuck in them and isn’t cleaned out well enough. This cavity starts to eat away at the tooth structure and creates a hole in the tooth. When the hole gets deep enough, it will start to cause pain and dental abscess, or sometimes worse effects.
Creating a Filling
To stop the process of tooth decay, all of the affected structure of the tooth has to be removed by a dentist. When all of the soft decayed teeth is cleaned out, there is a hole in the remaining healthy tooth that has to be ‘filled’. A tooth-colored filling will be placed in the space created by the cavity and bonded to the remaining healthy tooth. The earlier a cavity is detected, the smaller the filling will be and the better the prognosis.
Different Fillings for Different Purposes
Other types of filling are used for different purposes. Tooth-colored dental bonding is used to repair front teeth that may have been damaged by some sort of trauma. Bonding can also be utilized to make minor aesthetic improvements in your smile. Another common type of filling is used to repair cavities between teeth, also known as flossing cavities. These cavities start where your toothbrush cannot reach and are very hard to detect early without dental x-rays.
Contact Us to Fill Your Cavities
No matter what the cause of filling or type of filling used, the most important part is that you will be comfortable while the repairs are made. Our friendly, professional staff and doctors will work hard to ensure you have the most pleasant visit possible. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.