A dental filling is a restorative procedure that repairs teeth damaged by decay. In some cases, enamel loss can cause a tooth to become sensitive, and dental filling material is needed to relieve the tooth.
Tooth decay and cavities are quickly found during a routine dental appointment. Once detected, your dentist will remove the decayed material, clean the affected area, then fill the cavity with a gold, porcelain, a composite resin, or an amalgam. These filling materials close off access to bacteria and prevent further decay.
On occasions when a filling is insufficient to repair tooth decay, a dental crown, implant, bridge, or root canal may be required. With regular check-ups your dentist can detect any problems early and prevent a more costly procedure.
Preventing Dental Decay
In the past 65 years many preventive measures have helped to reduce dental disease. Preventing dental disease is easy if you follow these steps:
- Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss or use an interdental cleaner once a day
- Ask your dentist about dental sealants
- Limit eating and drinking between meals. Choose nutritious, sugar-free snacks.
- Visit your dentist regularly
- Eat a balanced diet
- Ask your dentist about supplemental fluoride treatment