A filling is way to repair a tooth which is damaged by decay. It means that the tooth can continue to be used for chewing and eating and it protects the tooth from bacteria which would, in time, cause further rotting.
What is an inlay?
A dental inlay is the middle ground between a filling and a crown. An inlay can be fitted to a tooth which has a level of decay that cannot be treated with a filling alone. Inlays can also be used on fractured teeth.
How long do they last?
A filling will last for anything up to 15 years, though this will vary depending on the type of filling.
An inlay, if fitted well, should last for several decades.
How are they fitted?
Most fillings can be fitted in one trip to the dentist, though some, like gold fillings will require a second trip.
For a regular filling the dentist will give you a local anaesthetic to numb the area and then clear all decay from the tooth. After this is done he or she will fill the space with your chosen filling material. Your mouth may feel a little sore or sensitive at first as it adapts to the new material, but this should settle down in a matter of days.
Inlays require more than one trip to the dentist as each inlay is made specially to order in the lab. On your first visit, your dentist will take a mould of the inlay required, and on your second visit he or she will fit it.
How can I avoid cavities in the first place?
If you are wondering how you can avoid cavities in the first place, or how you can prevent further tooth decay take a look below for our top tips:
- Brush 2 x a day – Regular brushing is essential for preventing cavities. Make sure you brush 2 x a day for a minimum of 2 minutes each time.
- Eat less sugar – Many foods contain high levels of sugar, without you even noticing. These foods, along with the well-known culprits such as coke and sweets, should be avoided.
- Floss Daily – flossing is an important part of preventing cavities. Disturbing the bacteria that sit below the gum line is just as essential as brushing your teeth, so make sure you do it daily.
Cavities are a common dental problem, which we treat regularly in our practice. The good news is though, they can be easily avoided with a good dental care regime.
If you have pain in your teeth or think that you may need a filling, get in touch. You can contact us here to speak to a member of our team.