A dental filling is a dental restorative material used to replace an area where a part of the tooth is missing because of cavities or other trauma. Now, most people avoid going to the dentist because they know they have cavities and will probably need a filling. While fillings usually cause little to no pain at all when done correctly, they are often avoided because people are afraid it will hurt. Initially, they are causing themselves more pain because cavities only worsen with time. Our dentist can asses your cavities the right way and perform a filling without you feeling uncomfortable or any pain. Our dentist at Vista Dental can take care of your cavities and give you a bright, clean smile.
What Causes Cavities?
Cavities are mostly thought of as something that happens to children, but in fact the older we get, the more likely we are to get cavities. Cavities are essentially tooth decay that can affect the outer layer of the tooth known as enamel, or the inner layer known as dentin, depending on the severity of the cavity.
Decay is caused by foods such as bread, cereal, milk, candy, soda, fruit, or cake stay on the teeth. Then the bacteria in our mouths turn these things into acid, which cling to our teeth. Bacteria, food, acid, and saliva all come together on our teeth to form plaque, which is what begins to cause a cavity. The acid begins to dissolve the enamel creating small holes in our teeth. These cavities can cause severe pain, and if left untreated, the tooth may end up needing a root canal or have to be pulled. It is important to take regular trips to the dentist so that if you have cavities, they can be fixed and do not progress into something much worse.
How Our Dentists Do Fillings
How our dentist goes about filling the tooth depends on how bad the cavity is. Typically, a drill is used to remove the bad or decayed part of the tooth. The hole is then filled with a silver alloy, gold, porcelain, or composite resin which is then hardened with a light to make it mimic the feel of a tooth. Some teeth are so badly decayed that a filling cannot be done, and a crown or root canal is needed. A crown is placed on the tooth after the decayed portion has been removed and is often made of gold, porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal.
A root canal is needed when the root of the tooth is dead or damaged, and the tooth essentially is dead itself. Our dentist removes the tissue, blood vessels, and the decaying portion of the tooth and then fills it the rest of the way, usually placing a crown on it in the end. Fillings are a simpler procedure and require less time than crowns or root canals. Fillings are the less expensive route, but if you maintain good dental hygiene, they can be avoided.
To get a dental exam and a possible filling, contact our office and speak with our dentist at Vista Dental at (360) 418-9040.
500 SE 192nd Ave suite # 300
Vancouver, WA 98683-9507
Monday-Thursday: 8am - 5pm