While getting a cavity is a common experience, it can be an unpleasant one. Furthermore, the tooth pain and decay that go along with it can cause other health issues if left without treatment.
If you have a cavity and are looking for dental services for families in Little Rock, keep reading! There are many benefits of cavity fillings and it's important to talk to your dentist. The solution to cavities is just a phone call away!
Dental Services for Families in Little Rock
At Arkansas Family Dental, the team members are experts in taking care of cavities. During an oral hygiene exam, the hygienist and dentist look for both disease and cavities. Then, treatment is recommended based on your individual needs.
General dentists provide educational and preventive treatments for oral hygiene. Making regular dentist appointments for every member of the family is important — even a baby. Once they get a tooth, it's time to start seeing the dentist!
Signs of Cavities
A cavity is the decay of a tooth that shows up as a hole. Bacteria is the most common cause of cavities, along with poor brushing habits.
For most people, the first sign of a tooth cavity is pain. Pain often shows up as a toothache or gum pain. Chewing food, drinking cold or hot drinks, and swollen gums are all signs of tooth decay. Bleeding gums while brushing is another symptom of cavities. Same with discoloration or bad breath.
Dealing with cavities as soon as possible is key to your oral health because it will prevent further complications. Catching a cavity early enough may prevent you from needing a filling. But, if you do require a filling, there are a few options to choose from.
Dental Filling Types
The first thing to consider when choosing the right filling for you is the dental material. Dental materials differ in how they work for different-sized cavities. Some work best on tiny cavities, while others work best on larger cavities.
The cosmetic appeal is also considered, especially if the tooth is visible.
Composite resins are a popular choice for fillings. Composite resin is made from a plastic material that hardens from UV light. The dentist applies it in thin layers after removing all signs of tooth decay.
Composite resins are popular because they match the color of your teeth. They also feel natural, are more affordable than some of your other options, and the treatment is fast.
The downside to composite resins is they may break faster than other options. Composite resin is not as durable on molars where the bite force is harder.
Amalgam fillings are commonly called silver fillings. They are most often used in the back teeth because of their color. Amalgam fillings are made of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy metal of copper, silver, or tin.
These fillings require the dentist to drill into the tooth to get rid of the cavity. The metal materials are mixed to create a putty that is shaped into the tooth's hole. It then hardens quickly on its own.
While mercury is a concern generally, studies show that amalgam fillings are safe and do not cause mercury poisoning.
These filings are very durable and unlikely to break. They are the most affordable type of filling for cavities. Some dentists don't offer filling types, but, overall, they are still common around the world.
Cast Gold Fillings
These filings are made from a cast of your tooth. They are a mix of gold and alloy metals like copper or silver. Since gold is soft, these other metals make the filling stronger.
Cast gold fillings take more time than other options. They require the dentist to first make a cast of your tooth. The cast is made in a lab and returned back to your dentist's office. In the initial visit, the dentist removes any tooth decay and gives you a temporary filling.
The second visit happens once the gold filling is ready. Then, the dentist removes the temporary filling and secures the gold one into place.
Gold fillings are the strongest option and last between 10 to 15 years! But, they are the most costly option, due to their material.
Ceramic and Glass Fillings
Less common options for cavity fillings include using ceramic and glass materials. Ceramic fillings are made from porcelain. Glass fillings are made from a mix of acrylic and glass.
Ceramic fillings last as long as gold ones and cost about the same. They are not nearly as strong as gold fillings, though. They are bonded to your teeth, and good at resisting stains.
Glass fillings are applied in one sitting and last around five years. They cost roughly the same as composite options but are not as strong. They include fluoride in their material to help stop tooth decay.
Feeling some pain or sensitivity after getting a filling is common. Any pain or discomfort should stop soon afterward, though. Be easy on your mouth to take care of your dental fillings.
If you've had a filling that required a drill or other procedure, you've likely had anesthesia. Avoid eating solid food until it wears off. Biting the side of your mouth or the tongue can be a consequence of the numbing effect!
If your filling feels uncomfortable in your mouth, telling your dentist is very important. The dentist will file or reshape the filling to be perfect for your mouth. It is also common for the teeth beside your new filling to feel sore.
You will need to avoid eating certain foods after getting a filling. Avoid any extra chewy, sticky, or hard foods for up to two weeks after. You may feel sensitivity to hot and cold drinks as well.
Some discomfort within the first few days of getting your new filling is normal, but if you are still feeling any pain, aching, or sensitivity after a week, you should contact your dentist right away.
Continuing to brush and floss your teeth regularly is vital to maintain your oral health.
Family Dentist Solutions in Arkansas
Cavities are a common experience that nearly everyone has to deal with at some point. There are plenty of options that work best for your situation!
The friendly and experienced team at Arkansas Family Dental offers a solution for your cavity treatment. We offer a full range of dental services for families in Little Rock. Schedule an appointment today!
If you'd like to learn more about preventing tooth decay, download our free information brochure today!