Having a filling in your tooth is quite a common dental procedure, and while you might not like the thought of having one yourself, there’s nothing to worry about. This blog post discusses the instances when a filling is need in a tooth, and what to expect when you visit the dentist to get one.
When is a filling needed in a tooth?
You could need a filling in your tooth for a number of different reasons:
- The tooth has been damaged due to decay: This is quite common, and results from poor oral hygiene habits, not brushing regularly or eating and drinking high-sugar foods or drinks that contain a lot of acid which wear the enamel away and cause cavities.
- The tooth may be damaged by trauma: For example by an accident or a sports injury (which is why it is essential to always wear a protective mouth guard for contact sports).
- The tooth might have an inherent defect: Some people are just predisposed to teeth and gum issues, perhaps due to nutrition issues or genetics, as some problems can be hereditary.
No matter the cause of the filling, the treatment process remains the same. In every case, it’s better to treat the filling early, in order to prevent any further damage to the tooth or risk possible nerve damage.
What is a filling?
Filling your tooth restores it to its previous function, look and shape, and is normally completed using one of three materials:
- Amalgam, which is the common silver filling used across the world. It is normally not recommended for large fillings however as this can cause the tooth structure to weaken and potentially fracture.
- Composite resin, which is white to match the colour of the tooth and is very popular due to the discretion this affords.
- Porcelain or gold inlays can also be used for tooth restorations, because they are very strong and durable and suitable for situations where the tooth is extremely damaged.
Is a filling different to a root canal?
Root canals are very different to fillings. They are necessary when there has been damage to the tooth nerve (which is why it’s always better to have your tooth filled sooner rather than let it develop into a bigger issue). To find out more about the root canal treatment we offer, check out our website.
What to expect when you visit the dentist for a filling
When you visit us at Docklands Dental, we’ll put you completely at ease if you’re feeling anxious about having a tooth filled. We’ll discuss the different types of filling that are appropriate for you, how long the treatment should last and you can just lay back and relax while we take care of everything. If you are extremely nervous about dental treatments, we also offer sedation dentistry services which allow you to have any treatment without remembering a thing afterwards.
How to care for your teeth and gums after a filling
Looking after your filled tooth will be no different to looking after the rest of your teeth. You should still brush and floss regularly, although after a filling you might notice a bit more sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks for a while. This can be heightened further if the filling was deep (for a larger cavity) but if you have any concerns talk to us straight away.