Fillings restore the tooth, prevent further damage, and allow the tooth to function as normal. This is done by removing decay and repairing the affected tooth. Some situations when you need a filling are dental decay, tooth sensitivity, fractured teeth, tooth crazing, and tooth wear.
When You Need a Filling
If you have dark spots on your teeth, food gets stuck between certain teeth, or your floss shreds between certain teeth, you may need a filling. Sometimes the dentist will see decay on a dental x-ray before you even have symptoms. This is the ideal time to treat the tooth because dental decay is progressive and not self-correcting.
The following are other situations that may require a dental filling:
A toothache may be the most common sign that you might need a tooth filled. But, sensitivity to certain temperatures, to pressure, or to sweet foods are also indicators that you need a filling. Finally, if you experience sudden or throbbing pain when biting or chewing, you also might need a tooth filling.
Fractured teeth can also be repaired with a white composite filling material. It is important to address fractured teeth regardless of whether you have pain or not to prevent further tooth decay and damage.
If the fracture is small, a simple filling may do the trick. Let untreated, the fracture will continue to break down the tooth structure and require a more involved restoration like a crown.
Sometimes craze-lines appear on teeth. These vertical lines are cracks in the tooth enamel caused by stress placed on a tooth. This can be caused by a long lifetime of chewing or by activities such as TMJ, clenching, grinding teeth, or biting fingernails.
These unsightly surface cracks darken the look of teeth, over time. Luckily, dentists can use tooth-colored filling material to cover craze lines and restore the look of beautiful teeth. This kind of tooth filling is sometimes called cosmetic bonding.
As we age, our teeth wear down. As the wear occurs, the flat biting edges darken and make teeth look unsightly. The wearing down and damage of teeth can also be caused by bruxism or teeth grinding. Sometimes, this causes chipping and further damage of teeth.
Again, using a tooth colored bonding as teeth filling repairs the teeth and restores their surfaces. These tooth fillings also improve your bite and your ability to chew. Once the teeth fillings are in place, a night guard can be used at night to prevent further damage.
Don’t know when you need a filling? Regular dental check-ups and exams will help you stay on top of any developing situations leading to a dental filling. When was your last dental cavity check exam?