While some of us manage to get a decent portion of our life repeatedly getting those stickers to highlight they’ve never had a filling, for the rest of us we are paying tooth and nail (pun intended) for dental fees. So why exactly do we need fillings? The number one reason is to fill a cavity in the tooth, due to tooth decay. So time to quit those sugary drinks.
However, it could also be caused by an injury, such as in sports or simply falling over. This is why it is pushed to wear mouth guards in combat sports.
Another reason could be that you’ve done everything right, but you suffer from an inherent defect. Tooth discolouration is a slightly less usual reason to get a filling, as it can help to cover this up. While discolouring can be caused by many factors, the reason that surprises people the most is antibiotics.
The final reason might simply be to replace an old filling which might be fractured, becoming lose or discoloured.
But don’t feel too ashamed if you have a filling or 4, 75% of people have had a filling by the age of 17.
What Does A Filling Do?
As the name suggests, the filling will cover up a small in your tooth and is easily one of the most common practice performed by dentists across the country.
You can opt for an amalgam (silver one), composite resin (white to match tooth colour) or porcelain/gold inlays.
This is of course providing the nerve in the middle of the tooth hasn’t been damaged at all, as this would lead to the requirement or a root canal, which will cost a fair amount more and is quite a bit more work.
What Signs Will Dentists Look For?
The dentist will have a general observation normally to start with, looking for discoloured spots that might indicate tooth decay. Beyond this basic observation, the dentist may want to produce an x-ray, which they can then show to you in order to demonstrate any damage to the enamel that has occurred. Before you ask, dental x-rays are completely safe.
Some dentists may use a cavity detecting dye, which when swigged around in the mouth will stick to decayed areas, which is quite an interesting creation.
The final option is a laser fluorescence cavity detection aid, which can detect the changes from caries.
Any sign of sensitivity and you should instantly get in contact with your dentistry to book an appointment as soon as possible. As long as it is treatest quickly, you can potentially prevent further damage being caused.
Any part of the tooth is at risk, although in general it is more likely to be the section between the teeth where food gets trapped or the actual biting surface.
One clear thing to avoid is nail biting, as despite this being one of the key reasons, it still seems many don’t know how important a factor in tooth decay this is. Just the same, when you are sleeping it is possible you are grinding your teeth (also known as bruxism). This can be causing damage all through the night, which will leave you with a big dental bill. If you do suffer from this, seek advice, as there are many tools and night braces you can try out.