You Have Choices Regarding Cavities and Dental Fillings

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Many people never give any thought to the fillings they get at the dentist. In fact, according to my dentist, most people never ask about the fillings and so he brings it up so they can decide what type they prefer. This article will discuss the types of fillings available to you as well as what causes cavities in the first place and the procedure you will go through to get them fixed properly.

Let’s start with how cavities develop over time. You may not want to hear this but what you eat matters! High sugar and processed foods are one of the most dangerous types of food you can eat for the health of your teeth and gums. These types of foods erode plaque and leave high amounts of debris and bacteria on your teeth. This simply causes decay and damages your teeth as time goes on. The bacteria spreads from the surface into the tooth itself eventually breaking though to the nerve causing pain and infection and leaving a “cavity” to be formed.

In order to drill out the infected part and fill the cavity your dentist will have to numb the tooth. This is normally done by swabbing the gums around the tooth with a topical numbing solution followed by an injection to numb the tooth on a deeper level, if applicable. After the tooth is numb and ready the dentist will drill out the infection, put a bit of medication to both sooth and fight any infection that might be left behind and fill the cavity.

While this is the typical procedure, there are actually two types of fillings. Inlays occur when the damage or infection is isolated to the surface of the tooth and the work is performed on the surface only. Sometimes the cavities are so light that minimal work has to be done and you can get away without the injection to numb the deeper parts of the tooth. Onlays, however, covers more than surface issues and will involve more work. Some people refer to this type as partial crowns.

After you find out that you have a cavity, talk to your dental office to discuss what type of filling they recommend. Many times they are looking at the best fit for you as well as what your insurance company will pay for. Ask them upfront so you know why they are making the recommendation. They will appreciate that you are involved and asking questions.

Cast gold filling are still around and offered by some dental offices. However, they are the most expensive filling material you can buy and it can take a few visits to complete the procedure. On the good side, gold makes for a very strong filling material because it can withstand many years of wear and tear that a tooth has to take. These can last as long as 15 years without having to revisit the tooth. Another good metal that many people opt for that can last a long time and is strong is silver or amalgam fillings. These are not as pricey but, just like gold; do not match the color of your teeth. If these are the types you choose you will need to consider using them for your back teeth where color matching is not that critical to your looks and make sure you don’t have any allergies to metals.

Using composite material is the choice that most dentists today use. This material bonds very nicely to teeth and tends to last beyond ten years before revisiting. It’s also the most reasonable priced material and looks more natural than most filling material. Many dental procedures use composite material because it’s easy to use and can be a good way to repair some cracked or broken teeth. The only negative that is said about this material is it is prone to chipping.

The last type of material used for typical fillings is ceramic. It really is the perfect material with one exception; price. It costs almost as much as gold filling costs and some insurance companies will not pay for it. What makes it perfect is it tends to be much more stain resistant and natural looking than all the others and lasts much longer than any of the other filling materials.

When children have cavities in their baby teeth many children’s dentist recommends an acrylic or glass filling. These only last about five years so the new permanent teeth should be in before the filling needs replaced. This foiling also releases fluoride into the developing tooth to strengthen it as it grows.

Now that you have a better understanding of the type of fillings you can choose from make sure you discuss your options thoroughly. Even better that, make sure you eat the right kind of natural and organic foods to increase your chances of your teeth lasting a lifetime without a lot of dental work. Keep your smile healthy, happy and well cleaned!

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P. Turner has 59 articles online

When looking for a dentist to perform a routine dental filling don't overlook his or her credentials. Having cavities is no fun so you want to find a dentist in Hendersonville that will do it right the first time.

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You Have Choices Regarding Cavities and Dental Fillings

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You Have Choices Regarding Cavities and Dental Fillings

This article was published on 2011/06/18