Going to the dentist can be a hassle. However, unless you want poor oral health, it is a necessity. Getting a dental filling is a simple process that helps prevent further damage to your teeth. So, it’s best to get one if you need it. If you’re experiencing a toothache, chances are, your teeth may need filling. It’s always best to act as quickly as possible to prevent the pain from getting worse. “But what is a dental filling?” Keep reading to find out!
If you’ve never had one before and you’re thinking, “what is a dental filling?” it essentially means filling a hole in a tooth with a special material. There are many reasons your teeth may need filling. Here are some of them:
5 Reasons You May Need a Dental Filling
1. One of Your Teeth Has a Cavity
Now you know the answer to the question “what is a dental filling?” read on to find out why you may need one.
Cavities are the most common problem needing a dental filling. They happen because of decay, and most people’s teeth will need filling because of a cavity at some point in their life. If left untreated, cavities can lead to bigger problems, such as infections. An infection will require additional treatment, such as a root canal. So, it’s always best to get a dental filling as soon as a cavity is discovered.
Filling a cavity will mean that the tooth is restored and should stop any pain. The material used for the dental procedure can vary, but you’ll usually be given a choice by your dentist. If you’re still thinking of the answer to the questions “what is a dental filling?” and “what materials can you use for dental filling?” then it’s best to remember that materials for dental fillings can include gold or other metals.
However, most people opt for more natural-looking fillings. At Great Alpine Dental, we offer the option of fillings using tooth coloured materials, such as resin aka composite, which will blend in with your teeth.
2. Your Tooth Is Cracked
Cracked teeth are more common than you may think. Sometimes, people don’t even realise they’ve cracked their tooth until they visit a dentist after suffering from toothache. A cracked tooth isn’t always because of an injury or from biting something hard. In fact, often, cracked teeth result from clenching or grinding.
Sometimes, it will be clear when you have cracked your tooth. If you bite something hard, such as a popcorn kernel or a fruit stone and hear a crunch/feel pain, then chances are you’ve cracked your tooth. Cracked teeth are easy to treat if you discover them early. Depending on the severity of the crack, a dentist may simply clean the area to remove bacteria and give you a dental filling. If it’s a large crack, however, they may suggest fitting a crown to the tooth.
3. You Have Small Holes
If you’re experiencing pain or sensitivity in your teeth, this might be because of small holes. Small holes in teeth can collect small pieces of food or tartar, which can cause a build-up of bacteria. If this happens, your teeth may start to decay. In this instance, a dentist will recommend a dental filling to prevent any further decay.
Sometimes, you may not even notice you have small holes in your teeth. They won’t always cause you to experience pain or sensitivity. Therefore, it’s important to visit a dentist regularly, so they can identify any potential areas requiring this specific dental procedure.
4. Your Tooth is Chipped
A chipped tooth is usually easy to identify. You’ll probably notice if you chip your tooth while eating something or after an accident or injury. You should be able to see if your tooth is chipped, although sometimes it can be difficult to tell. Therefore, it’s always best to visit a dentist to be sure.
Cases of chipped teeth can be a result of a strike to the face with an object, walking into something or falling and hitting your mouth. In some cases, like cracks, a chipped tooth may happen because of grinding or clenching.
If you have chipped your tooth, your dentist will use a type of filling to re-build the exterior of the tooth. This is also known as “bonding”. The same process is used to fix cracked teeth.
5. A Filling Has to Be Replaced
Dental fillings aren’t permanent. You may already have a filling that has come loose and needs replacement. Over time, fillings can wear down due to eating or become cracked or chipped. In some cases, dental fillings can come loose and fall out. You may notice if this happens, but you may not. Sometimes, people only realise their dental filling has fallen out when they experience tooth pain resulting from a build-up of bacteria or exposure to the nerve.
If this occurs, you need a root canal treatment or extraction of the tooth, so it’s better to have the filling replaced before this happens. Hence, regular dental visits are very important as they can catch these problems in their initial stages and replace lost fillings.
There you have it. Now you know the answer to the question “what is a dental filling?” and why you may need one. Sometimes you may require it for another reason, so it’s always best to book routine appointments with your dentist. It is a simple procedure that can prevent serious damage to your teeth, so don’t delay if you think you need one.
Think you may need a dental filling? Click here to learn more and to book an appointment.