Many patients have had a dental filling, as cavities are a common issue among people of all ages. If you have not had a filling in a long time, or ever, it is helpful to know when you may need one. There are some clues to help you realize it is time to make an appointment with the dentist and get the treatment you need. Putting off a cavity filling can have severe consequences. Do not jeopardize your health by ignoring the need to see the dentist.
What a dental filling is and what it does
Tooth decay can affect anyone who does not brush or floss effectively. It is also frequent among people who eat or drink sugary foods and beverages. A dentist uses a filling to seal a tooth and prevent further decay or bacteria-causing infections. Fillings are usually made of a tooth-colored composite. However, metal fillings of gold and silver are options too.
A dentist knows that a filling is necessary by doing an examination or looking at an X-ray of the teeth. If there is decay, the dentist will numb the patient with a local anesthetic. The dentist then dries the area by spraying air into the patient’s mouth. After drilling into the tooth, the dentist removes the decay and any bacteria inside the tooth. The dentist fills the hole with the filling material and smooths it out.
Sensitivity while eating
Small cavities may not be evident all the time. One sign that a patient does need a dental filling is if the person has sensitivity issues with cold or hot foods. People who feel these sensations when eating ice cream or drinking a cold beverage should contact the dentist. Occasional sensitivity may not be a big concern. But if the person experiences this frequently or all the time under these conditions, there is probably at least one cavity in one of the teeth.
A persistent toothache is one of the biggest clues that an individual has a cavity and needs a dental filling. This will be especially concerning if the pain intensifies or is constant. The pain may be evident while the person is eating. It may also be present at all times. If the pain is interfering with the individual’s daily activities, the person should make an immediate trip to the dentist’s office.
Some clues are not difficult to see. If the person sees dark spots on their teeth, chances are high that they will need a dental filling right away. Some people can even see a hole in a tooth. This will require a filling. The dentist may even need to perform a root canal to repair the damage.
Do not delay restoring the health of your teeth
Having a cavity is nothing to take lightly. If you do not get treatment, the cavity can grow and lead to tooth loss. Your dentist can help by removing the decay and putting in a dental filling. Pay attention to these signs and symptoms of cavities. If you have any of these, make an appointment at the dentist’s office right away.
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