No one wants to learn that he or she has developed a cavity, yet some studies indicate that as much as 90 percent of the country’s population will experience cavities. The dental decay that can lead to cavities can also create the need for extensive restorative treatment such as root canal therapy or even extractions, if left untreated for long periods of time. Fortunately, the sooner you seek treatment for your suspected cavity, the more likely a simple treatment will be sufficient for restoring your oral health and your comfort. Dental fillings are a fast and effective way to treat most cavities.
What Is a Dental Filling?
One of the primary causes of concern, when a cavity is present, is that the damaged tooth becomes susceptible to infection because the interior of the tooth has become exposed. This can also lead to heightened sensitivity, or discomfort, because the layer beneath the tooth’s enamel, the dentin, is not as strong as the enamel itself. When the dentin becomes exposed, due to dental decay, many patients notice foods and drinks causing sensitivity.
Fortunately, a dental filling is a form of restorative dentistry that can help to prevent the possibility of infection, and to improve a patient’s comfort while chewing and drinking. Fillings work by sealing the damaged tooth against further erosion or infection.
Before a filling can be placed, the dentist will likely require x-rays to determine the extent of the damage. The area will then be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before the filling, itself, is placed. Modern dental fillings can be made of natural-looking composite resin, for a more seamless smile restoration than the metal amalgam fillings that were once common.