If you have a cavity in Carmel Valley, Dr. Lindsay Bancroft is here to help with affordable, fast, and minimally-invasive dental fillings. At Carmel Valley Dental, we can provide you with the treatment you need to restore your smile and prevent any further complications. Learn more about fillings below, or contact us now to schedule an appointment.
Expert Cavity Treatment
With Composite & Amalgam Fillings
We offer both composite and amalgam fillings at our office. Composite fillings are made from a blend of crushed glass and tooth-colored dental resin. They look and feel just like a natural part of your tooth and require the removal of less enamel material. Composite fillings are typically used to restore front teeth, as they ensure your smile remains beautiful.
Amalgam fillings are made from a blend of metals including tin, copper, silver, and mercury. They are very durable and hold up well to the forces of chewing, but have a silver-gray color that can discolor the tooth. For these reasons, they’re typically recommended for restoring cavities in the rear teeth, such as the molars.
The Importance of Early Treatment
With Dental Fillings
If you suspect that you have a cavity, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment at our office right away. Signs of cavities include sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks, and sensitivity to sugary foods and drinks. Your tooth may also ache when you chew and bite down on food.
If you fill your cavity right away, you can save time and money by avoiding more costly treatments like root canal therapy and dental crowns. You’ll also avoid further complications. A cavity that’s left untreated can cause a tooth infection, which can cause tooth loss if you don’t get help from Dr. Bancroft in time.
What to expect
From the Dental Filling Process
The process begins with a comprehensive teeth cleaning. Then, Dr. Bancroft will numb the treatment area. You can also be sedated for your comfort. Once your mouth is numb, Dr. Bancroft will trim away the damaged and decayed enamel to make room for the filling material.
Once your tooth has been prepared, Dr. Bancroft will apply a composite or metal-amalgam filling material to the tooth, and use dental tools to reshape it and replace the enamel that was removed when your tooth was trimmed.
When the overall shape looks right, the filling will be hardened, and Dr. Bancroft will refine its shape further with a dental drill. Then, she will check your bite to ensure the filling fits perfectly. Once everything looks perfect, she will clean and polish the filled tooth a final time, completing the procedure.
Keeping your tooth healthy
Caring for your new filling
Fillings don’t require any special care beyond regular brushing and flossing. To keep your tooth healthy, you should make sure you brush twice a day for two minutes, and floss once per day. In addition, make sure that you come into Carmel Valley Dental every six months for a teeth cleaning and oral exam.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does It Hurt To Get A Filling?
No. Fillings are minimally-invasive, and you don’t have to worry about feeling any pain and discomfort during your treatment. Dr. Bancroft will numb your mouth before your treatment begins. You may feel some pressure or vibration from the dental drill during your appointment, but you won’t feel any pain.
Your filling also shouldn’t hurt after your treatment. Your tooth may feel a little bit tender for a day or two as your mouth gets used to the new filling, and you may feel some sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks for a few weeks, but that’s it.
If you are experiencing a lot of discomfort or sensitivity after your treatment, this is not normal and you should contact us for a follow-up. Dr. Bancroft may need to adjust your filling to make sure it fits properly with your other teeth.
How Long Do Fillings Last?
This depends on how well you care for your teeth and your filling, as well as the material used for your filling. Tooth-colored composite fillings usually last between 5-8 years, though they can easily last up to 10+ years with proper care.
Metal fillings, on the other hand, last between 10-15 years. They tend to be more pliable and hold up better to the forces of chewing, so they are ideal for filling rear teeth if you want a longer lifespan for your filling.
If you want to keep your filling and your tooth healthy and intact for the longest possible time, the best thing to do is to maintain good oral hygiene. The most common reason for premature filling failure is decay in the enamel around the filling. This will cause the filling to loosen, peel away from the tooth, and fail.
So make sure you brush twice a day and floss once per day, and come to Carmel Valley Dental for a checkup every six months. Dr. Bancroft will be able to keep an eye on your oral health and look for any signs that your fillings may be failing.
What Happens If I Don’t Treat My Cavity?
If you don’t treat your cavity with a filling, it will only get worse. The cavity may become larger and require a dental crown. Eventually, the tooth will become infected and will require root canal therapy to restore it and keep it from dying and falling out of your mouth.
Even if you maintain great oral hygiene and are careful about what you eat, your tooth will continue to decay. That’s because the hole in your tooth, once developed, is more likely to trap food particles and bacteria. It’s pretty much impossible to completely clean out a cavity once it has formed.
Because of that, the cavity will continue to get deeper over time, unless you get a filling to restore your tooth. Fillings are cheap, fast, and non-invasive, and by getting a filling right away when you notice a cavity, you’ll save both time and money, and you will be able to completely avoid future complications like tooth infections.