A majority of individuals will form a cavity at some point in their lives. So you likely are already familiar with the treatment for this early form of tooth decay: a dental filling. A dentist will drill away the decay and use composite resin to fill the resulting hole in the tooth.
Though you may know you need this dental fixture to restore your smile, you may wonder what effect this will have on your long-term oral health. Read on to learn more about the benefits and aftercare that come with treating a cavity with a dental filling.
How Long Will a Dental Filling Remain in My Smile?
Your dentist will employ composite resin to create a dental filling at the end of your cavity treatment. This malleable material will restore the structure of your tooth. Your dentist then uses a specialized light to cure and harden the resin.
Once secure, the resin will create a seal, ensuring bacteria and other harmful residues will not penetrate this vulnerable area of the tooth. The hardened filling will also ensure you can perform oral capabilities as you normally would.
The dentist will check your bite at the end of the procedure to make sure the filling does not disrupt your oral function. Your filling should remain in the tooth for ten years or so.
Can a Filling Fall Out of My Tooth?
Though able to withstand the usual wear and tear your teeth experience, dental fillings are not indestructible. High amounts of pressure may cause the filling to wear down, become loose, or fall out of the tooth.
Talk to your dentist if you have a habit of grinding your teeth. This behavior generates pressure on the tooth that may lead the filling to weaken and become damaged. The dentist can help you stop teeth grinding or protect the teeth from the pressure of this unconscious action.
If the filling loosens, the protective seal breaks, and the tooth might be at risk of further harm. If this occurs, call your dentist for urgent repair or replacement of your filling.
How Can I Take Care of a Dental Filling?
You can avoid harming your dental filling when you take proper care of your smile. This involves good oral hygiene habits. You should brush your teeth twice each day and floss on a daily basis.
Proper oral hygiene will also entail visiting your dentist for routine teeth cleanings. Your dentist will also check for any new cavities as well as the state of your prior dental work.
If your filling seems worn or old, your dentist can give you a new one. This will prevent issues like recurrent tooth decay or infections that reach your tooth pulp.
Avoid biting unnecessarily hard items like fingernails or the end of a pen so that you do not break or dislodge a dental filling. If you suffer a dental injury, call your dentist and attend an emergency dental visit.