When a tooth has a cavity, or decay, it can be removed and then restored with a filling. This is assuming that the decay has not reached the nerve and there is no existing infection (see Root Canals).
Two types of fillings that can be done are tooth-colored fillings or silver-colored fillings. Whenever possible, we love to restore your teeth to look as natural as possible. Tooth-colored fillings are able to mechanically bond to teeth and can be shaped to appear like a normal tooth. In addition, we make sure to also create proper contours to the filling so that you not only have a more natural looking tooth with grooves and curves, but also have proper biting forces as well.
How Do I Know if I Have a Cavity?
It’s crucial to recognize the signs of a developing cavity and to make an appointment at your earliest convenience. Unfortunately, cavities can worsen over time - this means more extensive treatments the longer you put it off.
If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, contact Life Point Dental to inquire about a filling:
Sensitivity to hot and cold
Pain when biting or eating
Holes in the teeth
Stains on the teeth (may appear to be brown or black)
Am I at Increased Risk for Cavities?
As with most health conditions, some people are more prone to developing cavities than others. If you’re in a high-risk group, you may have to work a little harder to avoid tooth decay.
Those with poor dental hygiene tend to develop more cavities, as well as people who regularly consume sugary foods and eat snacks all day. Age is also a risk factor for cavities, so you may need to increase the frequency of dental visits as you age. Some health conditions such as acid reflux or heartburn may also increase the chances of decay.
Our team at Life Point Dental will keep you informed on the status of your oral health and where in you can improve in your daily routine.
The typical lifespan of a traditional silver filling is around 10-15 years. Many patients choose to replace their old fillings with tooth-colored composite fillings for a seamless smile.
Avoiding Cavities and Fillings
At Life Point Dental, we want to make sure our patients are aware of how they can improve their oral health. It is possible to reduce your risk of cavities and subsequent tooth fillings - adhere to the following guidelines to decrease the chances of developing a future cavity:
Don’t skip brushing: Proper and frequent brushing and flossing go a long way to maintaining your oral health. We typically recommend brushing twice a day, along with remembering to floss and use a fluoride rinse.
Eat right: While it might seem unrelated to your oral health, sticking to healthy foods and drinks maintain healthy teeth. Sticky or acidic foods can increase your chances of needing a tooth filling. Replace sugary snacks with fruits and vegetables to help keep your teeth cavity-free.
Visit us regularly: Most dentists recommend making an appointment twice a year, but high-risk individuals might need to see us more often. During your regular checkups, the team at Life Point Dental can provide extra protection against cavities, including additional fluoride treatments and dental sealants.