Did you know that adults 20 to 65 have an average of 3 decayed or missing teeth? Unfortunately, people sometimes don’t like going to the dentist, or they don’t have insurance to help cover the costs.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist chair, you might be wondering, “Is this a simple cleaning?” Or worse, “Do I need a filling?”
And of course, “WHY do I need a filling?”
Believe it or not, there are several reasons why people need a filling. And it’s not just signs of a cavity.
Here are 5 reasons to consider getting a dental filling.
1) A Cavity
This might be the most common reason for a filling. The good news is that not all cavities need fillings. Sometimes your dentist will want to just “keep an eye” on smaller ones. The dentist will check to see if the cavity repairs itself which saves you from the drill.
Only leave the cavity unfilled if it’s recommended by your dentist. Putting off the dental filling can complicate your oral health and increase your dental bills later on.
2) Cracked Tooth
If you start to feel pain near a certain tooth, it’s a potential crack. Cracks can develop either because you grind your teeth or clench your teeth together.
They can also happen if you bite too hard on something crunchy such as popcorn or hard candy. If the crack is discovered early, the dentist will treat it just like a cavity.
First, they will clean the inside so all the bacteria is removed. Then, they will fill the empty space. Similiar to what happens when you get a filling.
On the other hand, one can also chip a tooth. The dentist uses the same filling for a cracked tooth, but it’s more rebuilding your tooth’s shape.
The dentist might refer to this as “dental bonding.”
3) Loss of Tooth Structure
Losing your tooth structure can interfere with your smile, speech, and chewing. The three main ways to wear down your teeth are abrasion, attrition, and erosion.
Dental abrasion is loss of hard tooth surfaces caused by incorrect brushing habits, using your teeth as a tool (to open bottles, to hold pins or nails, etc.), or when tongue jewelry hits teeth and wears down tooth surfaces.
Dental Attrition is tooth structure loss caused by mastication or grinding of your teeth.
Dental Erosion is tooth loss from chemical substances, like acidic foods and beverages (coffee, sodas, etc.), or from suffers of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and certain eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.
You can prevent these conditions by avoid soda, trying not to grind your teeth, and don’t use your teeth as tools.
Wearing down your tooth structure can lead to fillings. The more you take care of your teeth, the less chance of a filling.
Another reason for a dental filling is to cover up discolored teeth.
Your teeth can become discolored from antibiotics, tobacco use, coffee, tea, soda, etc.
If antibiotics are causing your discoloration, let your doctor know that the antibiotics stain your teeth and find out what other medications you can use to prevent that.
5) Replace an Old Dental Filling
Some people think that a dental filling is permanent so they don’t have to visit the dentist again.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
A dental filling can wear down, crack, and chip with time. Sometimes, they even fall out. No need to panic if it does, just call your dentist and have them refill it so no bacteria gets in.
How We Can Help
At Serene Smiles of Fredericksburg, our staff is ready to help you with all your dental needs.
Whether it’s an emergency visit or performing a dental filling, we can help. So contact us today with any questions/concerns you may have.
We look forward to seeing you!