Find out how dental fillings can improve a decaying tooth.
Cavities are one of the most common dental problems to affect both children and adults. While cavities are completely preventable with the proper oral hygiene, it still happens more often than you might expect. If our Columbia, SC, dentist, Dr. Kris O’Neill, recently told you that you have a cavity then you may be wondering how a cavity is treated and the damaged tooth is restored.
How is a cavity removed?
First thing is first; we need to remove the decayed enamel from your tooth. In order to do this, our Columbia general dentist will apply a local anesthesia to the gums surrounding the tooth to completely numb the area. From there, we will remove all of the decay.
What is a dental filling?
Of course, once the cavity has been removed there will be holes where the decay has been drilled away. We can’t possibly leave these unsightly holes in your teeth because it also leaves your teeth a bit weaker and more susceptible to damage over time. In order to restore the tooth, we will need to place a dental filling.
While there are different kinds of dental fillings on the market, the most popular choice is a composite resin filling because it matches the color and appearance of tooth enamel, so it blends right in with the rest of the tooth.
How is a dental filling placed?
Composite resin has a putty-like texture, which means that once it is applied to the tooth it can be shaped and molded into the holes to fill them. The process does take some time, as we will need to place the resin filling layer by layer. Each layer is contoured, trimmed and then hardened with a dental curing light before the next layer is applied until the tooth is fully restored.
How long do tooth-colored fillings last?
With the proper care, the average dental filling lasts about five to seven years. Of course, they can last longer if you maintain good oral hygiene and know how to properly care for your smile. You should also make sure you come in every six months for routine cleanings and exams so that we can check the health of your filling.
Do you have questions about getting a tooth filled in Columbia, SC? Are you dealing with a toothache or other symptoms that might be warning you that you have a cavity? If so, don’t hesitate to turn to our dental expert, Dr. O’Neill, today!