Tooth Filling Tacoma WA
Nobody wants to hear they have a cavity. Yet cavities are a simple fix compared to all the other complications a cavity can cause. It’s hard to believe that something as serious as heart disease can come from not taking care of your teeth. Save yourself the physical and mental pain that results in not getting a filling done right away.
Today’s advancements in filling material eliminate the embarrassment of unattractive and unhealthy silver/mercury fillings for teeth or metal margins of the past. We are able to replace the dark, black appearance in your teeth with new-age, state-of-the-art, tooth-colored resin or porcelain materials.
Why time is of the essence for a cavity filling
Don’t be fooled, you don’t have to have a toothache in order to have a cavity filled. If your dentist has recommended that you get a dental filling. Don’t wait!
When cavities are not quickly fixed they grow and the decay gets closer and deeper to the nerve. Cavities can even spread to other teeth, resulting in more money and time spent in the dentist’s office.
For comparison, Root canals are typically 10 to 15 times more expensive than a tooth filling!
Get your cavity filled before more invasive action has to be taken, contact our office now.
How long does it take for a cavity to form?
There’s no simple answer to this question, like so many other questions the answer is: It depends. The reason the dentist sees you every 6 months is because it does take awhile before a cavity gets to the point of needing attention. However, early detection is key when it comes down to preventing other health issues.
What other issues can arise?
As mentioned, there are other serious health concerns that come about when cavities aren’t promptly taken care of. Some of these include:
- Heart Disease
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)
- Root Canal
- Dental Bridge
How are cavities formed?
All the sweet gifts over the holidays can make one wonder: Just how long does it take for a cavity to form?
Like so many questions the answer is: It depends.
The good news is that if you had a fresh start on December 1st then a cavity didn’t occur over the past couple of weeks of sweet indulgence. The reason the dentist sees you every 6 months is that it takes a while before a cavity gets to the point of needing attention.
To understand how long it might take for a cavity to form in your mouth it’s a good idea to understand the process itself. A hard mineral called enamel protects our teeth. Problems arise when enamel starts to break down due to contact with acid. The acid in your mouth is a result of bacteria and bacteria build-up when it gets fed a lot, and bacteria eat what we eat. It so happens its favorites are sugars and starches (our favorites too). When bacteria starts to build up it forms plaque and that is where the problem lies. Plaque holds the acid and it sits on teeth causing decay.
When is a Filling Needed?
Only your dentist can determine whether you have a cavity that needs a filling. This will depend on the extent of damage caused by decay. A filling will restore a damaged tooth back to normal function and will prevent further decay.
How To Avoid Getting Cavities!
Sugar-Free Gum and Candies with Xylitol
Chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol (a natural sugar substitute) helps in preventing tooth decay because bacteria cannot use it to grow and cannot metabolize it to produce acid. Look at the packaging to see if it is the first ingredient. If it is then chewing gum or consuming mints or even candy with this ingredient three to five times a day will help to prevent cavities.
Use A Straw
Drink sugary and acidic drinks with with a straw. If you love sugary, acidic sodas and aren’t willing to give them up for health reasons, consider consuming them with a straw. This will help to minimize the damage they can cause your teeth. With that said, we still highly suggest cutting down or cutting sugary carbonated drinks from your diet.
Calcium levels go up in the mouth after eating cheese and increased saliva calcium helps to re-mineralize teeth and prevent cavities. Some research has gone into the benefits of casein, a protein found in cheese that actually helps to promote healthy teeth. Calcium levels go up in the mouth after eating cheese and increased saliva calcium helps to re-mineralize teeth and prevent cavities. This is good news if you love cheese!
If cavities have been an issue and you want further help from the dentist in prevention, ask about dental sealants. Dental sealants are a protective coating that is applied to the surface of the teeth. The sealant helps in preventing bacteria from growing and causing cavities.
Drinking fluoride-treated water. Fluoride helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay.
Don’t Allow Thumb Sucking
Can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth.
Learn more about prevention by clicking here.
Click here to learn about Dental Care Tips.
Getting Your Cavity Fixed – Fillings
To treat a cavity we remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then replace the damaged tooth structure with a material. We also, replace old and often broken-down amalgam/metal fillings that contain mercury with white composite fillings to restore your smile and teeth to a more natural look and feel.
Again, the best option is prevention from other serious health issues. Get your tooth filling done as soon as possible. Fillings don’t take long and are not that expensive, especially if you have dental insurance.
Different Types of Fillings
Composite fillings are the most popular and widely used kind. A huge advantage of a composite resin filling is that the dentist can match it to the color of your surrounding teeth. However, just like your natural teeth composite fillings do discolor over time. Composite fillings can also be bonded into place, which means less drilling!
Glass Ionomers Fillings
Glass ionomer fillings are a newer option available that are made from acrylic acids and fine-glass powders. They also can be made to blend in with surrounding teeth and can be designed to release small amounts of fluoride to prevent further decay. This type of filling can fracture, however, meaning that it won’t be appropriate for chewing surfaces.
Amalgam has been used for over a hundred years for fillings. Amalgam is a combination of copper, tin, silver, and mercury. They are incredibly durable, last a very long time, and are very inexpensive. The downside is that they are silver in color and do match natural teeth.
Silver fillings aren’t really silver, but are made of base metal alloys that look like silver. These too are very strong and inexpensive. Cavities filled with “silver” fillings are more prone to sensitivity and like amalgam, do not match natural teeth.
Gold fillings are actually made of gold and other metals. They are very strong, but again do not match natural teeth.
Keep in mind that South Sound Dental also does other types of dental treatments other than teeth filling. Click here to look at all of our dental treatments.
How Long Can I Wait To Get My Cavity Filled?
Another scary consequence of not taking care of your teeth is dementia. Experts studying the link between poor oral health and dementia believe that oral bacteria may spread to the brain through cranial nerves or through the bloodstream, contributing to the type of plaque associated with Alzheimer’s.