A dental filling is a restorative procedure that repairs teeth damaged by decay. In some cases enamel loss can cause a tooth to become sensitive and dental filling material is needed to relieve the tooth.
Tooth decay and cavities are quickly found during a routine dental appointment. Once detected, your dentist will remove the decayed material, clean the affected area, then fill the cavity with a gold, porcelain, a composite resin, or an amalgam. These filling materials close off access to bacteria and prevent further decay.
On occasions when a filling is insufficient to repair tooth decay, a dental crown, implant, bridge, or root canal may be required. With regular check-ups your dentist can detect any problems early and prevent a more costly procedure.
Preventing Dental Decay
In the past 65 years many preventive measures have helped to reduce dental disease. Preventing dental disease is easy if you follow these steps:
- Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. For patients with periodontal disease brushing should occur 4 times a day. After breakfast, lunch, dinner and before bed. Floss or use an interdental cleaner once a day.
- Patients with periodontal disease should floss one time a day and should use interdental cleaner such as a Proxabrush or rubber tip 3-4 times a day.
- Patients with crowns should also use a rubber tip to clean the margin of the crown daily.
- Patients with bridges should use floss and floss threaders to clean under the bridge at least once daily.