How Do Dental Fillings Help?

How Do Dental Fillings Help?

If you just found out you need a filling, you might be wondering how this restoration helps your dental health — other than the obvious. Dentists often use fillings to treat cavities, or areas in your teeth are damaged due to decay.

While fillings are used to treat cavities, they can also help in other ways, like repairing cracks in your teeth and addressing damage from habits like nail-biting, tooth-grinding, or using your teeth to open things. 

At his private practice in Butte, Montana, Robert F. Wilcox, DMD, has years of experience treating cavities and other dental issues with a variety of restorative care treatments. Keep reading to learn more about how dental fillings help protect your oral health.

All about cavities

Cavities are a very common form of dental decay that about 90% of American adults over 20 experience at least once in their lives. Good dental hygiene habits with regular flossing and brushing and visits to the dentist help prevent cavities, but sometimes people still develop these dental caries. 

Get treatment for your cavity as soon as possible to stop the decay from spreading. When cavities go untreated, they continue to grow larger and larger, damaging deeper layers of your teeth. This can cause dental issues like pain and infection, swelling (toothache), tooth loss, and gum disease. 

All about dental fillings

Dental fillings help restore and improve your tooth’s integrity, shape, and functionality. 

Fillings are different based on the severity of your cavity. Some are shallow, while others can be more involved. Dr. Wilcox uses a tooth-colored filling whenever possible to match the shade of your natural tooth. 

These composite fillings are made from materials like plastic resin and quartz.

The ways dental fillings protect your oral health

Dental fillings treat cavities, but they do so much more to protect your oral health. Here are four ways this treatment can help. 

Stop tooth decay from progressing

As mentioned, dental fillings treat a cavity by stopping it from growing. Dr. Wilcox removes the bacteria that caused the cavity and puts the filling in to prevent further decay of the tooth. 

This means that not only does the filling treat the cavity, but it prevents future decay from occurring in that tooth as well. 

Strengthens your natural tooth 

When a cavity forms, it hollows out your tooth, damaging the structure and integrity of it. This makes your tooth more at risk of fracturing and continued decay.

When you get a filling, it restores the strength and structure of your tooth. You’ll be able to rest assured that your tooth can handle your favorite crunchy snacks without fear of fracture.

Restores a fractured or broken tooth

Even if you don’t have a cavity, you can benefit from a filling, which also can repair dental fractures or a broken tooth. You could sustain this type of damage for many different reasons, like biting into something too hard or suffering an injury to your mouth. 

Bruxism, or grinding of the teeth, can also cause damage that fillings can repair. Dr. Wilcox assesses your tooth damage to determine if a filling is the best treatment or if something else will work better, like an implant or crown.  

Improve the appearance of your smile

Imperfections in your teeth can cause anxiety and insecurity. Depending on the location of the tooth that has decay or injury, you may feel embarrassed about the appearance of your smile. 

Dental fillings help you feel good about the way you look by filling a hole, improving a tooth’s appearance, and covering and reshaping front teeth. Dental fillings can help you get the smile of your dreams.

Talk to a professional about how fillings can help

If you have a cavity, tooth damage, or imperfections, schedule an appointment with Dr. Wilcox to get the treatment you need. If you’re experiencing any signs of dental damage like a toothache, sensitivity to temperatures, or difficulty chewing or drinking, it’s important to see a dentist. 

Dr. Wilcox performs a full evaluation of your tooth and oral health history to recommend a customized treatment plan. He can discuss sedation dentistry if you have dental anxiety. 

If you want to seek treatment for a cavity or want to learn more about dental fillings, we can help. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone at our Butte, Montana, office today.

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