27 Feb What to Expect If You Need a Dental Filling
What to Expect If You Need a Dental Filling
Tooth decay is the destruction of the hard outer layer of your teeth, the enamel. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, half of all American children under the age of 12 have experienced tooth decay. A sticky film of bacteria called plaque constantly forms on teeth. When drinks or foods containing sugar are consumed the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth and over time the enamel can break down forming a hole in the tooth.
Cavities are usually discovered during routine dental appointments, but they can sometimes offer indicators at home, such as:
• Pain when chewing or biting
• Swelling of the gums
• Sensitivity to hot, cold or sweets
• Visible dark spots
• A particularly rough tooth
Why Are Baby Teeth Important If They Are Going to Fall Out Anyway?
Baby teeth have many important roles in the mouth. Baby teeth vary in size and shape which enable them to work together to help with chewing, speaking and smiling. They also help give shape and form to the face and help keep the space in the jaw for adult teeth. If your child loses a baby tooth too early, talk to your Park Pediatric and General Dentistry’s pediatric dentists about options to keep the correct space in the mouth for the adult tooth to come in normally.
What If a Filling is Recommended?
A dental filling is designed to restore the form and function of a decayed tooth. Most small to medium-sized cavities can be replaced with a dental filling, larger cavities may require the use of a dental crown to repair. After a dental filling has been placed, you’ll probably forget that it’s there because your tooth will look and function so normally.
When we place a dental filling, we begin by carefully numbing the affected area of your mouth. Then we carefully remove the decay from the affected tooth. After thoroughly cleaning the tooth, we layer in dental composite. This durable blend of plastic and glass is colored to match the shade of your natural teeth. We then harden the dental composite in place, shape it, and polish it. The entire process is relatively quick.
Aren’t Dental Fillings Made Out of Metal and Mercury?
In the past, many dentist offices commonly placed metal amalgam fillings. Amalgam fillings are silver in color and contain mercury and you may have seen them in the smiles of your friends and family. Although some dental practices still use amalgam fillings, we only use tooth-colored composite fillings.
There are several advantages to tooth colored composite dental filling. Unlike amalgam fillings, tooth-colored fillings are designed to blend seamlessly into your smile and require less healthy enamel to be removed from your tooth. Best of all, tooth-colored fillings are also durable enough to last for decades with proper care.
How to Care for Your New Fillings
One way to increase the lifespan of your dental fillings is by developing good dental habits. Avoid chewing ice or hard foods, and never use your teeth as tools to open bottles or pry things. Keep up regular brushing and flossing habits to avoid additional decay, and be sure to schedule regular 6 month dental check-ups at Park Pediatric and General Dentistry, to stay on top of your dental health.
At Park Pediatric and General Dentistry of Huntington Beach, CA, we can help your child with any cavity they may have in a great environment with gentle techniques. Give us a call today to schedule their first appointment!
7891 Talbert Ave, Suite 103
Huntington Beach, CA 92648