Dental fillings are the standard treatment for repairing tooth decay. Fillings may also be used to repair minor tooth damage such as surface chips or cracks. Dental fillings can effectively restore the structure and aesthetic of a damaged tooth, seal out bacteria, and help prevent future decay. This painless procedure can alleviate tooth pain and sensitivity to hot and cold foods.
Our dentists help patients of all ages. We will restore and maintain your most natural and healthy smile. Dental fillings are a conservative option for repairing minor to mild tooth damage. Treating tooth decay early in development can eliminate the need for root canals or tooth extractions.
Cavities are a growing health epidemic amongst children. Our family dentist office welcomes children as young as 1 to our dentist office. We encourage parents to bring their children to the dentist at least twice a year. Early detection can help children preserve their teeth and protect their oral health long-term. Tooth fillings are a safe and effective treatment for tooth decay in children.
What’s Causing Your Toothache?
Experiencing pain that comes from a toothache has the potential to really put a damper on your day. Certain types of bodily discomfort are easier to adjust to than others.
Trying to go about your day-to-day activities (including the big ones of eating and speaking) can be pretty challenging with something like toothache pain. Many people assume pain in their mouth means a cavity gone awry. However, a toothache can have many possible causes.
- Tooth decay – More commonly known as cavities, when teeth begin to demineralize and the dentin rots away, your roots can become exposed causing further damage, tooth sensitivity, and certainly a potentially nasty toothache.
- Periodontal Disease – The earliest phase of gum disease is called gingivitis and usually has few or no symptoms. At most, you may notice puffy gums and some possible bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth. However, if you allow gum disease to progress into full-blown periodontal disease or periodontitis (severe gum disease) you can end up with gum recession, periodontal pockets, abscesses, and infections in the roots of teeth. At this point, you may very well present with a classic toothache feeling.
- Bruxism (Teeth grinding) – Clinically termed as bruxism, this condition generally affects people in their sleep. The motion of teeth rubbing together for hours at a time can wear away tooth enamel, and certainly cause toothaches.
- Traumatic Dental Injuries – If you participate in high-impact sports activities you should strongly consider always wearing a customized athletic mouthguard to protect your smile. Accidents can happen regardless of activity level, however. If you sustain an injury to your mouth and your tooth or teeth hurt substantially, or the pain persists for hours without getting any better, you should call your dentist for a consultation.
- Allergies/Sinus Infections – Many people are shocked when they discover that a toothache might not actually have anything to do with their teeth. Sinuses and teeth share close real estate in your mouth, so if the aching is in your upper molars, pay attention to other symptoms. If congestion and headaches are a part of the package, you may want to see your general physician.
Dental fillings are a routine dental treatment and typically only require one visit to our Owings Mills, MD dentist office. Dental fillings are a relatively painless procedure with the use of a local anesthetic for optimal comfort.
Your dentist will gently remove all diseased tissue from the tooth. Once the decayed tissue is removed the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and prepared for the dental filling. The filling is injected into the tooth. A special blue light is used to activate the hardening agent, sealing the filling to the tooth.
If the decay covers a large surface of the tooth or is in a deep valley of the cusp of the tooth an inlay or dental onlay may be a more effective treatment. For patients with more advanced tooth decay or an infected root canal, we may recommend a root canal procedure or a tooth extraction. Treatment will vary depending on the stage of decay and the patient’s long-term goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to get a filling or a tooth extraction?
It is always better to save as much of your natural tooth as possible with a dental filling, rather than completely removing the tooth. Most tooth pain can be fixed by addressing the root cause of the problem. Most patients with tooth pain are surprised to find out that their issue can be quickly addressed without the need for oral surgery.
How long do dental fillings last?
Dental fillings are not permanent, but with an excellent dental care routine, they can last a lifetime. They can last anywhere between 7 to 20 years. This of course depends on the type of filling material used, and other oral health issues you may have.
Can a filling be redone?
Yes! A damaged tooth filling can be redone and replaced in a single visit to your dentist office. You may need to redo a filling if your tooth is experiencing pain, or sensitivity to hot and cold foods. We can replace old metal fillings for a cosmetic upgrade to color-match the restoration to your smile.