You need a filling whenever you have a cavity. The most noticeable indicator of a cavity is tooth sensitivity. If you notice that your tooth hurts or is sensitive when you consume hot and cold foods/beverages, or hurts when you chew, you may have a cavity. Your tooth may also hurt when you eat extremely sugary foods like candy.
A filling is necessary to treat a cavity because it’s the best way to prevent further complications and restore your tooth. In this treatment, Dr. Packard will remove any decayed enamel from your tooth and replace it with a tooth-like composite resin material. Your tooth will look completely natural, and any decayed enamel and bacteria will be removed, which eliminates the source of the decay.
Without a filling, though, your condition will only get worse. You may experience more pain, and a larger cavity will require a dental crown to repair your tooth, which is more expensive and invasive. In some cases, your tooth may even become infected and require a root canal.
In most cases, composite fillings will last between 10-20 years. The precise lifespan of your filling varies depending on a number of different factors, such as the location in your mouth, the material used to create the filling, and your overall oral health.
If your filling is ever lost or pulled out when eating, you need to have it replaced right away. This is because losing a filling exposes your vulnerable enamel, which can become decayed if you don’t have the filling replaced within a few days of losing it.
After you’ve had your tooth filled, you won’t need to take any special care precautions. You can treat your filled tooth just like you would treat any other tooth. Make sure to brush at least twice a day for two minutes and to floss once a day.
In addition, you should see Dr. Bryan Packard for a consultation once every six months. At Precision Dental, your teeth will be cleaned by a hygienist, then Dr. Packard will examine your mouth to make sure your teeth and fillings are in good shape.
Beyond this, we recommend avoiding eating very sticky foods with fillings, if possible. Some foods like taffy and caramels can stick to your filling and may pull it out. This is not common with newly-placed fillings, but it can happen to older fillings as the filling material begins to wear down and weaken.