When You Need a Filling: Symptoms of Tooth Decay
How can you tell when you need a filling? Here are some symptoms of tooth decay:
If your teeth feel rough or furry after brushing, your teeth are likely to experience acidic damage. This might be from acidic foods and beverages or oral bacteria, the beginnings of tooth decay.
You can also see the beginnings of tooth decay as spots on your teeth, which may be either too white or darker-colored than the rest of your tooth. Don’t confuse old metal amalgam fillings with decay when looking at your teeth. These old fillings turn black when they rust, and you might think they’re discolored or have holes in your teeth.
All of the above symptoms indicate the early stages of tooth decay. You might reverse the progress of decay with improved oral hygiene, a better diet, and other non-invasive treatments. The rest of these symptoms indicate that you likely need a filling.
After weakening your tooth enamel, oral bacteria can create holes in your teeth. These holes trap food and shelter oral bacteria. In addition, the holes can concentrate acid to speed up the process of decay. If you can’t see the gap in your tooth, you might not be aware of it until food gets stuck there.
Toothaches occur when your tooth enamel can no longer protect the living part of the tooth. It hurts in response to acid, heat, cold, or pressure. At first, toothaches may only occur in specific situations. When toothaches occur spontaneously and persist, they might be a sign that decay has compromised the living part of the tooth.
At Collins Family Dentistry, we offer two types of tooth-colored fillings: composite fillings and ceramic inlays and onlays.
Composite fillings are made of plastic with ceramic inclusions for strength and beauty. These start as a soft putty that Dr. Collins will use to fill the cavities in your teeth. When exposed to a curing light, they will harden. Then, we will polish the filling to give it a luster similar to natural tooth enamel.
Composite fillings are inexpensive and quick to apply. They are initially attractive, and they work well for small cavities. However, they are susceptible to staining and can lose their luster. They’re also not as strong as natural teeth. For these reasons, we don’t recommend composite fillings when filling a large cavity.
Ceramic Inlays and Onlays
Ceramic inlays and onlays are ceramic fillings made of advanced materials, which can be as strong as or stronger than your tooth enamel. These can also look as beautiful as natural tooth enamel, with the same shiny luster. Inlays fit into the space between the high points of your teeth–called the cusps. Onlays extend up to and beyond the cusps.
These fillings are more expensive than composite fillings, but they also last longer and can be used in more situations. We often recommend them to replace old metal amalgam fillings that might be jeopardizing your teeth. In the past, you had to send off to a lab for ceramic inlays and onlays, but thanks to our same-day restorations procedure, you can get ceramic inlays and onlays the same day. Inlays and onlays are one step short of a dental crown, preserving more of your natural tooth enamel.
Looking for Fillings in Cheney, WA?
If you have cavities and require fillings in Cheney, let Collins Family Dentistry help. We can evaluate your teeth and recommend the proper treatment, whether a change to hygiene and diet or a restoration such as a filling or crown.
Please call (509) 235-8451 or use our online form to request an appointment at Collins Family Dentistry in Cheney, WA.