The most common restorative procedure and the first line of defense against tooth decay is the filling. Dental fillings help to preserve the remaining healthy tooth structure and protect the tooth from oral bacteria that lead to cavities and decay.
At Desert Dental Alternatives, we offer traditional amalgam fillings (metal) and tooth-colored fillings. Our specialists provide our patients with what they need to have the most painless, stress-free process possible with anesthesia and gentle, professional touch during your filling procedure.
Why Do Teeth Need Fillings?
There are a few reasons why a tooth would need a filling. The most common cause is tooth decay. Dental decay is typically due to bacteria in the mouth which produces acid that eats tooth enamel. In this situation, the dentist uses the filling to treat the small hole, or cavity, after the decayed tooth tissue is removed.
Fillings may also be applied to repair cracked, broken, or worn-down teeth caused by grinding or injury. The filling closes off the holes and cracks to prevent further damage and avoid the spreading of any decay.
How Are Fillings Applied?
Your filling will be applied in the gentlest, minorly invasive procedure possible, by expert dentists in our office. The dentist will take steps to keep you calm and comfortable throughout the procedure.
You can expect the following steps when your dentist repairs your tooth:
- Numbing cream will be applied to your gums then you will receive local anesthesia to deaden the tooth and areas around it.
- The dentist will clean out the tooth’s structure of all decay.
- Your tooth is filled with the filling compound until it regains its original shape and appearance.
When the procedure is complete, you may still be numb as the anesthesia wears off over time. You will be advised as to aftercare and typical times of return to normal sensation in the gums and mouth.
What Causes Cavities and How Can I Prevent Them?
Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the enamel of teeth. They can be caused by several culprits, most of which can be avoided.
Some of the causes of cavities include:
- Bacteria and the acid that derives from bacteria
- Frequent snacking on sugary snacks
- Drinking and sipping sugar-filled drinks
- Improper or inadequate oral hygiene
- Suffering from dry mouth
- Genetic predisposition to weak enamel
Symptoms of cavities include spots on teeth, persistent bad breath despite brushing and rinsing, and the most common, pain and sensitivity.
You can lower your risk of developing cavities through proper oral hygiene:
- Brush twice daily
- Floss daily
- Limit sugary drinks and snacks
- Attend regular dental exams and cleanings
Trust Our Dentists with Your Dental Fillings
Cavities can be painful and lead to extensive tooth treatment or removal. It is crucial to attend regular dental checkups and remedy cavities as quickly as possible. At Desert Dental Alternatives, you can rely on us for exams, cleanings, and dental fillings. We can repair your teeth and help you continue to enjoy the function and appearance of your smile.