What are Cavity Fillings?
To know about cavity fillings, it is important to know first about what a cavity is. A cavity is when the hard and rigid surface of your tooth becomes damaged and thus becomes a hole in the teeth. This is also known as tooth decay. Mostly, cavity occurs due to bacteria which gets accommodated in our mouth after we eat junk food, or even if we don’t clean out teeth and take care at best. A cavity filling then is where the cavity is filled so that the tooth becomes stable, healthier, reduces pain, as well as adds to the health of the mouth. Cavity fillings are made similar to material of the tooth, but of course are chemically made and filled; so, they might need changing every couple of years or so.
Symptoms of Tooth Cavity
At the very beginning of the development of a cavity, there are less likely any chances for the symptoms to occur which usually delays diagnosis. This is why regular check-ups with your dentist are highly recommended. However, in case your cavity has developed, there are some symptoms you may experience regularly or from time to time. These symptoms include sudden sharp pain in tooth, increase sensitivity of tooth, pain while eating and drinking, darkened spots in your teeth etc.
Materials Used for Cavity Fillings
For cavity fillings, there is a list of options the dentist can choose from according to budget, nature of teeth, medical history of the patient, preference and suitability. The materials contribute in prevention from further damage to your teeth. The materials used include porcelain, ionomer, gold inlays, silver amalgam etc. You can choose your preference in materials for cavity filling by consulting your dentist, so it does not weigh too heavy on your budget as well as prevents your teeth from decaying.
Cavity Filling Procedure
For Cavity Filling, the first most step is to find the assistance of a local anaesthetic so that the affected tooth area can be injected and made numb; to avoid pain and discomfort. This makes the procedure a lot easier for the patient. Secondly, the affected tooth and its surrounding areas might be affected so they need to be prepared for restoration. The dentist uses hand tools to pick out the damaged parts of the tooth. Nowadays, lasers are also used for this purpose. When the affected area is removed, it is cleaned free of any bacteria by using an acid-gel.
The next step of the process is to fill the cavity with the material prepared. The filling is delicate to handle and needs to be done on the affected tooth only, so that it does not interfere with the rest of the teeth. For this purpose, there are multiple adhesives that are used to bond the filling to the tooth. Once it’s done, the tooth is hardened with special bonding light.
The last step of the procedure is to polish and refurbish the filed tooth to make it smoother and comfortable. Usually, the process takes up to an hour to complete, including the initial x-rays and tests that the dentist might need for the process.
Although a large part of the life of a cavity filling depends on the materials used, it also depends on the care and treatment you are giving it. For instance, a glass ionomer cavity filling can last up to fifteen years, whereas generally, a cavity filling lives up to 7 to 9 years.
Why are Cavity Fillings Important?
With the process of aging, there can be unwanted incidents of tooth decaying where a part of your mouth may be affected. This might be just one of the problems, but it can often lead to sensitivity of the rest of the cavities. Cavities are dangerous because they open gateway to nerves, structural framework of the tooth, and might even be an easy way for bacteria to enter. The question remains even if the decay is removed, why is filling require? This is because the hole that becomes engraved in the tooth might create problems in functionality of the tooth, and even result in pain and discomfort. Cavity fillings prevent bacteria to breed and enter the cavities, so that you may not suffer from any serious infections.
Other than this, cavity fillings save the tooth from cracking, breaking etc. One broken or damaged cavity can give way to new ones, which is why their filling is necessary especially to maintain oral hygiene and health.