Do you know that half of the grown-ups and one-third of children don’t brush their teeth daily? What! This is not a staggering observation considering the number of cavities dentists are filling out each year from all type of patients. So how exactly do cavity filling work? In this rather necessary article, we are going to look into cavities in all aspect of it.
How does Cavity Filling Work?
To truly understand the need for cavity filling and why we need one, it has become paramount to have a basic idea of the anatomy of the tooth. The tooth is enamel, this is the hardest outermost layer above the gum that covers sensitive nerve ending and other blood vessels that make the teeth function and react accordingly to stuff.
What are Cavities Fillings?
Cavities are when the enamel is damage and develops a hole that opens the sensitive underlying layer to be exposed to the elements. This hole is referred to as decay, and hence cavities are called tooth decay.
Tooth decay doesn’t just happen. It is a result of improper dental hygiene, eating high sugar content foods, and sweets or candy.
How Does Tooth Decay Occur?
When we eat foods with high sugar based contents like sodas, cakes, candies, everyday carbohydrates like cereal, bread, rice. If you eat and rinse out your mouth or brush your teeth; the chances of having tooth decay are slim to none. However, when we don’t, bits of the food we chewed gets stuck to our teeth and undergoes a bacteria degradation to form an acid that is mild enough in the mouth but harsh on out tooth. The acid gradually dissolves the enamel which develops into a hole that causes pain.
With that said, the cavity can be nipped in the bud and below are symptoms of a cavity.
- Pain in your teeth for no apparent reason
- Tooth feels extra sensitive and lasts longer than normal
- Pain when you bite into food
- Signs of discoloration on a specific tooth; color can be black, grey or slightly pinkish in some cases
- A visible hole that you can see and touch
- Swellings in the jaw side where the hurting tooth is
- Pains in the ears and headaches on the side where the affected tooth is located
Who gets a Tooth Cavity?
Contrary to common belief, kids aren’t the sole owners of all things tooth cavity, but as we grow older, it becomes a problem for adults too. This is because our teeth pull away from the gums as you age exposing your teeth to several infections except in cases where you take proper care of your teeth and mouth as you are growing up.
Furthermore, unlike kids, the elderly are also prone to tooth decays and cavities because they don’t get the required oral hygiene causes the teeth to get weak as bacteria eats away at the teeth.
Types of Cavity Fillings
Cavity fillings materials are of different types, and your dentist chooses the best for you depending on the extent of the decay.
Amalgam Fillings; these are the most commonly used, and affordable tooth filling in the industry. It is made with metallic substance to give you a durable and strong tooth filling, but it’s noticeable. Most people complain that been a mercury based filling, it is not the best but it is FDA approved and if it suits you, it will be done.
Metal fillings: for people that want to add some swag to their tooth filling procedure, there is a choice of gold or silver. The good part with this type of cavity fillings is that when done well, these last for over ten years or more, so you can be sure that except in rare cases, you will never lose your filling.
Ceramic Cavity Fillings: these are usually porcelain material and are one of the best teeth filling material for several reasons. They can be made in the exact color of your teeth, durable but cost an arm and a leg.
Composite Fillings: these are tooth filling manufactured from a variety of plastics and just alike ceramic fillings are made to fit with the color of your teeth. These cavities filling are great for children and people that do a lot of chewing. Composite fillings also come in another type of called glass lonomer which help releases fluoride into the teeth for extra protection
Cavity Filling Procedure
- Treating a cavity depends on the extent of the damage as already stated. When you go in for a cavity filling, the dentist numbs the side then drills into the hole with a tooth drill to remove the dead enamel while also sucking it out or having your spit out at regular intervals.
- When the hole is clean, the dentist fills the hole with your choice of filling all of which are FDA approved and safe.
- When the hole clean, the dentist makes another examination to see if you need just a crown or if your root canal is affected by the decay
- If the decay is close to the root, it is filled with composite filling to protect the nerve before filling the cavity with the crown.
- The crown is then polished and smoothened with a special light passed over the spot to harden the material.
Cavity Filling After-Care
There will be a pain after the procedure – it comes from scrapping and the poking action that the dentist performs to remove the decay or from the anesthesia wearing off. You will get pain medication for it. When you go home, continue with your regular dental hygiene including daily brushing, flossing, using mouthwash and avoid too much sweet and sugar based foods.
If you experience anything wrong with the teeth such as sharp edges, cracks in the crown or the teeth are too sensitive, go back and check with your dentist immediately.
However, after a filling, we advise not to chew with the teeth as this might pull or crack the filling, but it will also cause pain as the teeth are still healing. To get a good cavity filled teeth, book an appointment with us today and have a certified and qualified dentist perform a clean procedure for you today.