Chances are that if you haven’t already had a cavity, you will in the future; in a 2012 study, it was found that 91% of American adults between the ages of 20 and 64 had suffered from tooth decay at some point. So what’s the solution to this all-to-common problem? You’ve probably heard of dental fillings being used to treat cavities, but what are they exactly? And once you have them, will they last? A dentist in Bedford has the answers.
What are Fillings?
A filling is one of the most basic kinds of dental restorations. Simply put, the filling material is used to replace missing parts of the tooth’s structure so that it remains functional and intact. Some fillings use metals like gold or silver amalgam while others use composite resin instead. Many practices prefer to use composite resin because it can be made to match the color of your teeth so that it looks natural in your mouth.
Why Do You Need a Filling?
If a cavity is found, your tooth will need to be fixed once the decay has been removed; as long as the damage isn’t too extensive, a filling can be used to fill in the empty space so that you can safely and comfortably chew with that tooth again.
Of course, fillings aren’t just for cavities. They can also be a solution for cracked or broken teeth. Also, if your teeth are worn down (such as from biting your nails, grinding your teeth or opening containers with your mouth), filling material can be used to help build them back up.
Do Fillings Need to Be Replaced?
Fillings can last for a long time – 5 to 15 years, depending on what they’re made of and what sort of care they’re given – but sooner or later they will start to crack or leak. If that happens, bacteria and bits of food might seep down under the filling where you can’t get rid of them easily, leaving you vulnerable to further tooth decay. Also, composite resin will eventually start to stain or otherwise become discolored over time; other people may start to notice your fillings if that happens.
How Can You Make Your Fillings Last Longer?
You can’t prevent your fillings from wearing down, but you may get a few more years out of them with good maintenance. Luckily, the same practices the protect your teeth will also protect your restoration; that means brushing and flossing regularly, limiting the amount of sugar and acidic drinks you consume, avoiding tobacco, and visiting the dentist on a regular basis.
Of course, even when good care it’s still important to be looking for cracks and signs of wear in your restorations. When you do notice these issues, call your dentist right away; the sooner the filling is replaced, the sooner you can rest assured that your tooth will continue to be protected!
About the Practice
At Peaks View Dental in Bedford, we make you and your family our top priority. We’ll do everything we can to anticipate your dental needs, and we’ll work with you to find the best solutions. We offer top-quality fillings made of composite resin. To schedule an appointment or a consultation, visit our website or call (540) 586-8106.