If you have never had a cavity, congratulations! If you have had one, you are not alone. About 78% of us have had at least one cavity by the time we reach age 17, according to a 2000 report by the U.S. Surgeon General.
Fillings do just what the name implies — seal a small hole in your tooth, i.e., a cavity, caused by decay. This prevents the decay (a bacteria-induced infection) from spreading further into your tooth. If a cavity is left untreated, overtime will continue to the sensitive inner pulp (nerve) tissue located in the root canal. Should that happen, you would need root canal treatment.
Do You Have a Chipped Tooth?
Sometimes if you chip your tooth, you may need a tooth colored filling to restore. Especially if it's your front tooth, no one wants to walk around like that! We get it! We are here to help! In extensive cases where you have chipped a tooth, a crown would be recommended. Dr. Moser or Dr. Matthews will evaluate at your appointment.
What to Expect After Getting a Filling
The numbness caused by your local anesthesia should wear off within a couple of hours. Until then, it's best to avoid drinking hot or cold liquids, and eating on the side of your mouth with the new filling. Some sensitivity to hot and cold is normal in the first couple of weeks after getting a tooth filled. If it persists beyond that, or you have any actual pain when biting, it could signal that an adjustment to your filling needs to be made.
Continue to brush and floss as normal every day, and visit the dental office at least twice per year for your regular checkups and cleanings. And remember, tooth decay is a very preventable disease; with good oral hygiene and professional care, you can make your most recent cavity your last!