Proper dental care is critical to protect your oral health from serious problems. Tooth decay is one issue that can arise from poor oral hygiene. If left untreated, it can cause severe damage to your teeth. Luckily, dental fillings are one solution to preserve a healthy smile by restoring cavities, repairing cracks, and filling small holes caused by decay. Read on to learn which signs alert you of teeth that may require dental fillings and how to choose the best type for your pearly whites.
Signs You Need a Dental Filling
It can be challenging to spot the early stages of tooth decay because most people don’t show any symptoms. However, keep an eye out for any of the following signs as they can indicate a cavity:
Are your teeth sensitive when exposed to hot or cold temperatures, sweet, sticky, and sour foods? It could indicate worn enamel and developing cavities.
No amount of tooth pain is considered normal. Constant, sharp, throbbing, or aching pain can indicate a developed cavity.
Dark Spots or Holes
Two definite indicators of cavities are dark spots and small holes. Contact your dentist right away as you may require a filling immediately.
Food Gets Stuck Between Your Teeth
Does food frequently get stuck between your teeth when you eat? That may be due to a small gap or opening that requires a filling to close.
Damage to An Older Filling
If you have an existing filling that’s cracked, chipped, or lost, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible for a replacement before your cavity worsens.
Which Type of Filling Is Best for Your Smile?
Five types of dental fillings are used to treat cavities, including:
- Silver Amalgam Fillings – They’re a popular choice among dentists because they’re strong, durable, and cost-effective. However, they’re not easy on the eye and cause your tooth to crack as the material expands over time.
- Composite Fillings – They are made of a resin and plastic material that can be color-matched to your natural teeth, making them an attractive option to most patients. Unfortunately, they’re not as sturdy or budget-friendly as silver fillings.
- Ceramic Fillings – These are made of porcelain and combine the best qualities from the previous materials: they’re aesthetically pleasing and durable. Their disadvantage is the ceramic is more brittle and can wear down opposing teeth.
- Glass Ionomers (Acrylic Fillings) – These can last up to five years and are a great option for children whose teeth are still changing.
- Gold Fillings – Gold is the least desired material because these fillings are expensive and require a few dental visits to be fitted properly. However, they’re very durable, non-corrosive, and can last over two decades with proper dental care.
Now that you know which signs and symptoms to look out for, you can seek treatment before it’s too late. But remember, by taking good care of your teeth, you can maintain a healthy, cavity-free smile for a lifetime!
About the Practice
At Crossroads Family Dentistry, our goal is to make dental visits the least stressful experience possible. We provide high-quality, friendly, and affordable care for the entire family in one convenient location. With regular checkups, we can detect, treat, and prevent problems to help you maintain a healthy smile. If you think you may need a dental filling, schedule an appointment with one of our dentists via our website or call (434) 841-1704.