Treating Decay and Restoring Teeth
If you’ve ever had a cavity, you may be aware of it as you may feel some pain or sensitivity. Sometimes, cavities go unnoticed until a patient has a regular checkup or cleaning. The most effective treatment for cavities and preventing further decay is by getting a filling. Dr. Rivera and Dr. Richer at R+R Dental in Hicksville have years of experience in dealing with cavities & fillings. They also help their patients prevent cavities from occurring.
What Causes Cavities?
Cavities result from tooth decay, which is also known as tooth damage. Decay can affect the enamel (outer coating) and dentin (inner layer) of the tooth.
Decay is more likely when you eat a diet rich in carbohydrates and other foods that “stick” to your teeth. Normal bacteria in your mouth turns these food particles into acids. Bacteria and acid mixed with food debris and saliva make plaque. If plaque is not removed regularly, it begins to destroy the enamel, and eventually, cavities can form.
Does Everyone Get Cavities?
While cavities are quite common, it’s not rare for some patients to be cavity-free through adulthood. Many assume that children are more prone to getting cavities but anyone can get a cavity.
Your likelihood of getting a cavity greatly depends on your oral hygiene routine and other lifestyle factors. It’s never too early (or too late) to adopt good dental health practices, and while some cavities can be difficult to avoid, many of them can be prevented.
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride and flossing are two simple and effective preventive measures. A healthy diet, adequate water consumption, and scheduling regular visits at R+R Dental can prevent cavities from forming.
What Happens If You Have a Cavity?
No one likes to hear that they have a cavity or two but treating cavities is easy and important in maintaining your dental health. Before your dentist fills a cavity, he or she will inject a local anesthetic to numb your teeth, gums, and surrounding skin. If you’ve never had local anesthetic, it’s a fast-acting numbing agent, and the injection feels like a pinch.
Temporary numbness in your chin, cheek, lips, and other areas of your face is completely normal and will subside a few hours after your procedure. You may have the option of having conscious sedation with nitrous oxide; this will make the procedure stress-free if you’re anxious about getting a filling.
Once your mouth is numb, your dentist will remove the decay with a drill and replace it with a filling. The material used for fillings is strong and is likely to last decades.
Are Fillings My Only Option in Treating Cavities?
A filling is the most effective way of treating a cavity and preventing further decay of a tooth. The longer you wait to deal with a cavity, the more likely you are to need a more complicated procedure like a root canal or an extraction.
Our goal at R+R Dental is to spot and treat cavities as soon as possible so our patients can have healthy teeth and avoid experiencing any dental pain.
Do Fillings Need to Be Replaced?
If you’re an adult and had a cavity filled as a child, it’s not uncommon to need your filling replaced. Improvements in technology and dental treatments have made today’s fillings longer lasting and stronger, but it’s difficult to guarantee that a filling will last forever.
Patients who grind their teeth for clench their jaws often need to replace a filling sooner than other patients. If you experience sudden and unexplained dental pain or notice cracks in and around a filling, you should make an appointment at R+R Dental as soon as possible.
Special Care for Fillings
Cavity fillings are designed to set and harden quickly so you can resume your everyday activities shortly after your appointment. Patients should eat and drink with care if their mouths are still numb from the anesthetic.
As you would with any dental procedure, good oral hygiene habits are essential to extending the life of your filling. Avoid chewing on hard foods like ice and candies and make sure to schedule regular check-ups and cleanings.
If you experience pain after your filling or have any concerns, at R+R Dental, we encourage our patients to call us anytime. Our mission to keep our patients comfortable during procedures and their aftercare. Positive experiences result in our patients taking control of their dental health and practicing healthy oral hygiene for a lifetime.