Why do I need a filling?
There are various reasons why you might need a dental filling, but the most common reason is tooth decay. Your dentist will place fillings to restore cavities or “holes” in your teeth to stop decay in its tracks. This allows the tooth or teeth to remain healthy and function normally.
Sometimes, we have patients ask, “why do I need a filling if my tooth doesn’t hurt?”
If there’s a cavity in your tooth and we don’t take proactive measures to fill the hole, you may run into more problems later down the line. Left untreated, a cavity can become an abscessed tooth, where the structure is lost, and the tooth is more easily damaged. We may need to resort to a root canal procedure in this case.
At Advance Family Dental, we’re committed to providing quality dental care in Lake Haven. If you are nervous about fillings, we offer a range of sedation options to make the procedure more relaxing and comfortable.
How will I know if I have a cavity?
Most of the time, you won’t have any cavity symptoms until it’s fairly large. Symptoms include:
- Pain when you bite and chew
- Sensitive teeth when consuming hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks
- Noticeable pits and holes in the teeth
- Brown, black or white spots on the teeth.
The good news is that small cavities can be easily spotted by your dentist during your routine checkup. The sooner we can fill the cavity, the less likely you are to suffer from toothaches, discomfort and painful infections, so we recommend booking a checkup once every six months.
How to prevent cavities
If you do not currently have any cavities, it’s important to be on the front foot and prevent them through diet and good oral health practices.
Here are a few tips for preventing cavities:
- Brush your teeth after eating or drinking where possible. You should brush your teeth twice daily using fluoride toothpaste and utilise floss or interdental cleaners to clean between the teeth.
- Rinse your mouth. If your dentist has said you have a high risk of developing cavities, consider rinsing your mouth with fluoride or mouthwash after brushing and flossing.
- Maintain a regular dental schedule. You should see your dentist every six months for a checkup so that any small cavities can be addressed.
- Eat healthy foods. Avoid sugary foods that get stuck between the grooves and pits of your teeth for long periods of time, or brush straight after eating them. Opt for healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables to increase saliva flow, unsweetened coffee and tea, and sugar-free gum to remove excess food.
What are fillings made from?
Our white fillings in Lake Haven are made from hard-wearing composite resin, a combination of acrylic combined with glass particles. Designed to stand the test of time, this material is ideal for restoring the strength and structure of weak or decayed teeth and bonds to the natural tooth surface.
Our composite fillings are long-lasting and will not need to be replaced for several years.
What does the procedure involve?
Fillings are one of our simpler dental procedures!
First, one of our dentists will remove the damaged parts of your tooth to ensure the existing decay won’t spread to other areas of the tooth or cause an associated gum infection. Then, a hardened composite filling will be applied to the damaged tooth, shaped, and polished to ensure a natural-looking and feeling finish.
This can all be completed in one appointment when the damaged or decaying tooth has been identified.
FAQs about white fillings in Lake Haven
+ Do fillings hurt?
No! Before starting the procedure, we will numb the area using a numbing gel and inject a local anaesthetic into the area. You might feel a small sting from the injection, but the local anaesthetic will soon block the nerve signals and eliminate pain.
If you suffer from dental anxiety, we can also offer a range of sedation options to make the procedure more comfortable.
Your tooth might feel a little sensitive after it has been filled. This is completely normal and will go away within a couple of days.
+ Will a filling stop my toothache?
Yes, you should see immediate results from a filling. We will remove the damaged parts of the tooth and fill the hole with a composite resin, stopping the decay process and preventing painful infections.
+ Can cavities cause headaches?
It is unlikely that cavities are causing your headaches and migraines. However, if left untreated, a cavity can become an infection or abscess, which can cause headaches. When the tooth or gum lining becomes inflamed or infected, the nerve endings from the tooth’s pulp can cause headaches.
A cavity-related headache might cause pain behind the eyes and in the jaw, and you may experience ongoing popping in the jaw joint.
+ Do fillings look natural?
Yes! Our dental fillings are designed to blend in with the rest of the tooth.
+ What happens if my filling falls out?
Fillings are strongly bonded to your teeth, so it’s highly unlikely that your filling will fall out — however, it has been known to happen! If a filling falls out, it’s important to visit us as soon as possible. If you wait too long (even a few days), tooth decay and other problems can develop in that area of your mouth.
We keep emergency appointments available daily, so be sure to contact us as soon as you notice the filling has fallen out. We may have an appointment to replace the filling on the same day.
+ How long do white fillings last?
Dental fillings tend to last around seven to 10 years. However, this can vary based on the materials used and other lifestyle factors, like your diet.
+ Can I get silver fillings?
At Advance Family Dental, we only offer composite fillings as these fillings match the colour and appearance of the existing tooth. Silver fillings might last longer, but the material tends to expand and contract, increasing the risk of a cracked tooth. Silver fillings also require more of the natural tooth to be removed to make way for the filling.
Composite fillings are far less invasive, so we always recommend composites!
+ Will I need fillings after a root canal procedure?
Not always, no. If the tooth is in good condition after a root canal procedure, your dentist may decide not to fill it, especially if it’s the front tooth. In other cases, the dentist might fill the tooth or recommend a crown if the tooth’s pulp has been removed and is particularly sensitive or vulnerable.
+ Are dental fillings expensive?
It depends on the required fillings, e.g. multiple teeth suffer from damage or decay. The good news is that many private health funds cover fillings under general dental and will cover part (if not all) of the costs.
Generally, Medicare does not cover dental procedures like teeth cleaning, fillings, or other routine procedures. If you are concerned about the cost of fillings, please contact our team.
+ Are you taking new patients?
Always! If you’re experienced cavity symptoms or simply need a checkup with a new dentist, feel free to contact our friendly team for an appointment. We provide quality dental care in Lake Haven on the Central Coast.