Dental fillings are used to treat cavities – holes that are formed in your teeth from tooth decay. Often times, you won’t notice any difference in your teeth when the cavities are beginning to form – but your dentist is able to detect decay at its earliest stages (and even possibly reverse it!). If you haven’t seen your dentist in the past 6 months, it’s definitely time for a checkup! Even if you don’t feel like you have any cavities – you could, and may need a filling to seal them before the decay worsens.
How Do You Know If You Need A Filling?
While you may feel discomfort or pain when you’re chewing with a tooth that has a cavity, it’s not always likely. A darkened tooth is also a sign of decay – but white spots around your teeth can indicate demineralization as well. The best way to catch cavities and eliminate them (or reverse them) is to keep up with your regular dentist appointments.
Choosing Your Filling Material
If you need a filling, you’ll probably be happy to know that the days of amalgam fillings are nearing an end. Many people are opting for a different filling material now, known as composite-resin, for a safe, effective, and aesthetically appealing approach. Restoring your cavities with amalgam often raises concerns for multiple reasons – the fact that it’s a metal and it contains mercury, its reactions to extreme temperatures, and how it relies on your tooth structure for stability.
With composite-resin, you don’t have to worry about any of these concerns. It contains absolutely no metal and can actually bond directly with your natural tooth! It’s ability to do this, makes for a much more comfortable restoration – eliminating any risk of damage from movement. Furthermore, because it bonds with your tooth, your dentist may be able to preserve more of your natural tooth structure – creating a stronger foundation for the restoration in general.
If you suspect you have a cavity, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist!