What Are Dental Fillings Used For?

Posted on: August 2, 2018

Dental fillings are oral prosthetics that are used to combat tooth decay and restore the function and shape of damaged teeth. This helps prevent further decay on the tooth. Tooth decay is something that occurs naturally, since food particles and other debris are often left in the mouth after meals.

These food particles are broken down into acids by the bacteria that live in the person's mouth. These acids chip away at teeth enamel, the glassy substance that protects the more sensitive inner layers of teeth. Once the enamel has been damaged, cavities begin to develop on the tooth.

These cavities can lead to a list of dental issues that can often require major treatments when left unaddressed.

Symptoms of cavities

Cavities are harder to detect during their early stages, since most people do not experience any symptoms at that point. However, as the decay expands, the cavity becomes much more obvious. Common symptoms of cavities include:

  • Sensitive teeth
  • Persistent toothaches
  • Visible holes in the person's teeth
  • Painful sensations when consuming hot, cold and sweet foods
  • Staining on the surface of a tooth
  • Pain when biting down or touching the tooth

What to expect when getting dental fillings

As mentioned, the filling can be used to combat all these symptoms and stop tooth decay in its tracks. During the procedure, the dentist will give the patient a shot of anesthetic to dull the nerves around the tooth. The oral professional will then use special tools to clean the tooth and remove any decayed matter.

Once the tooth has been cleaned, the hole created by the decay is then filled up with dental filling. It is a putty-like material that becomes hard when exposed to saliva, air or an ultraviolet light. Once the filling applied has hardened, the area becomes sealed off from bacteria and other irritants in the person's mouth. This helps restore the function of the tooth and prevent further decay from occurring.

Fillings can be made from a range of materials like amalgam, porcelain, gold, composite resins, silver and other metal alloys. Composite resins and porcelain fillings tend to be more popular nowadays due to the fact that they blend in with the natural color of teeth.

What causes tooth decay

Tooth decay can be caused by several issues. The most common reasons people develop this dental issue include:

1. Poor oral hygiene

When a person fails to establish good oral hygiene, teeth are exposed to harmful acids for extended periods. The teeth are also exposed to plaque, which eventually turns into tartar. Tartar facilitates gum disease and tooth decay. Patients should brush at last twice a day and floss daily to reduce their risk of developing tooth decay.

2. Eating sweet things

Eating too many sweet things is another one of the leading causes of tooth decay. Sugar is an acidic substance and the bacteria in the mouth thrive on it.

Want to learn more about using the dental fillings to fight tooth decay? Contact one of our dentists today!

What are you waiting for?

Request a dental appointment here: https://premierdentalcareutah.com or call Premier Dental Care Of Utah at (801) 316-6577 for an appointment in our West Valley City dental office.


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