Most people tend to put off making an appointment to see the dentist for a variety of reasons. Whether you’re busy and don’t feel like you have the time, or haven’t been in awhile and are afraid of what your dentist might find there are a number of different excuses for avoiding a visit to your dentist’s chair. While everyone knows that maintaining regular checkups is important for their dental health, many still put it off. If you know or suspect you may have a cavity, however, waiting to get a dental filling is really something you shouldn’t do. Putting off a visit to your dentist when you have a cavity can lead to serious consequences.
What is a dental filling?
A dental filling is used to fill the hole or gap left in a tooth when it has been worn down, cracked, or decayed. Fillings are a common and fairly uncomplicated procedure, so it’s uncertain why so many people avoid getting them. The material used to make a filling can be anything from traditional dental amalgam and gold to newer, more natural looking ceramic composites. A filling can usually be placed in one short visit, though a temporary filling may be placed if more work is needed.
What is involved in filling a tooth?
Before beginning to fill the tooth, your dentist will perform a thorough examination to make sure no other teeth need repair. Next, a local anesthetic is used to numb the tooth and the decayed matter within the tooth is removed. A second examination is performed to ensure all of the bacteria-laden decayed matter is removed, and the dentist can then fill the tooth with their chosen material. Any rough edges are removed, and voilà! Your tooth is filled in little time at all.
How should you care for dental fillings?
Dental fillings can come loose prematurely if not properly cared for. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you should continue to visit your dentist regularly and continue good oral hygiene practices at home. Use fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly to prevent additional cavities and tooth decay. Should your filling become lose or damaged, schedule an appointment to fix it right away.
If you know or suspect that you have a cavity that needs filling, call Manhattan Beach Dental Center today at 310-376-0482. Our caring and professional dentists can help ease the discomfort that often comes with a decayed tooth and have you on your way and smiling again in no time.