Preventing the need for extensive dental work starts with preventive oral health care, including dental cleanings and exams to detect cavities. If you have cavities, cavity fillings prevent additional decay and help save the tooth. At Goodman Dental Center in Queen Creek, Arizona, Brian Goodman, DDS, and Tanner Goodman, DMD, examine your mouth for cavities and provide cavity fillings to restore your teeth. Call the office, or schedule an appointment online today.
Cavity fillings restore the strength of a decayed area on a tooth and help prevent future decay. Tooth fillings can also repair teeth damage caused by grinding or clenching your teeth, or to replace a small piece of tooth that has broken off.
Appointments for cavity fillings take about an hour from start to finish. During the appointment, your dentist takes X-rays, if necessary, and then numbs your teeth, gums, and surrounding mouth tissues to prevent discomfort.
Using a handheld drill, the dentist removes the decayed areas of the tooth to prepare it for the filling material. He then applies the filling and uses a special light to harden and strengthen the filling, so it matches your tooth.
There are several options for tooth fillings, including gold, silver amalgam, tooth-colored composite materials, porcelain, and even a special type of glass. The team at Goodman Dental Center relies on tooth-colored composite material fillings for most cavities, but the best option depends on costs, what your insurance covers, and your cosmetic goals.
You may not notice if you have a small cavity in one of your teeth as they don’t usually cause pain or discomfort until the decay has grown to a larger size. Filling cavities is essential to your oral health as it prevents future damage. Once a tooth has a cavity, the area will continue to decay, and repair for more extensive damage is costlier and more complicated. Left untreated, small cavities will eventually cause pain and require crowns or result in infections or tooth loss.
Cavity fillings last many years, but are not considered permanent. If you clench or grind your teeth, cavity fillings wear out faster. If you notice cracks or chips in dental fillings, call Goodman Dental Center to have the filling replaced to continue protecting the tooth. A worn filling may allow food particles to get under the filling, further decaying the tooth and leading to more expensive repair later on.
The best way to prevent cavities or detect cavities while they are still small is to receive routine dental cleanings and exams twice each year. If it’s been more than six months since your last cleaning, or you suspect you have cavities, call Goodman Dental Center, or schedule an appointment online.