Tooth decay or cavities occur when the outermost layer of the tooth- enamel gets destroyed. It has been estimated that more than 60% of school going kids worldwide have cavities. Thus, filling cavities is the most common procedure performed by dentists on a daily basis.
In this blog, we answer five commonly asked questions when patients come down to our dental office for dental cavity treatment.
- What is really happening in a tooth with a cavity?
Cavities do not just appear out of the blue! It is a gradual process which progresses to a severely painful condition. Decay always begins on the surface which initially appears to our eyes as a “stain”. It all starts off when germs (bacteria) in our mouth utilize sugars and carbohydrates we eat to produce acids that dissolve the tooth material. Thus, the tooth develops deep caves or “cavities”. If left unchecked, the bacteria will penetrate deeper into the tooth and destroy the soft tissues, nerves and cells, which causes severe pain and utmost discomfort.
- Will my tooth heal itself?
Unfortunately, the answer is No. Dental cavity is an infection which requires medical intervention to get rid of. The only right thing to do when you have a cavity is to visit your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will excavate the damaged part of the tooth and fill up the space with a bio-friendly dental filling material(preferably mercury-free fillings) . This will ensure that the bacteria do not penetrate deep into the tooth and the normal functional anatomy of the tooth is restored. Sometimes, when the decay is profound and has invaded extensively, a root canal treatment will be required.
- Does the process of filling teeth hurt?
Your dentist will never drill or dig into your tooth without numbing it. To relieve pain and sensitivity, an anaesthetic gel or injection will be administered to the tooth area. If you are anxious and jittery about the drilling part of cavity filling, talk to your dentist and express your concerns. Your dentist will be glad to walk you through the entire procedure. If you still feel uncomfortable, you can go in for dental sedation which will put you in a relaxed and comfortable state.
- How long will it take to get rid of cavities at the dentist’s office?
The time taken to filling your teeth depends on the severity of the decay. Mild to moderate cavities may require 20-30 minutes to fill while bigger ones may take up to an hour. Filling cavities in children and senior patients may take a bit longer as it is difficult for these age groups to keep their mouth open continuously for extended periods of time.
In case your are undergoing a root canal therapy, it may take 2-3 appointments for the entire procedure to complete as it requires additional steps like fabricating and placing a crown.
- How long will a filling last?
Statistics says that silver or amalgam fillings can last as long as 12 years whereas tooth colored fillings(white fillings) survive 8-10 years. Crowns and veneers can remain in good shape for 10-20 years or even longer. There are numerous factors that can affect the longevity of the fillings. To understand it better you can read our blog here.
It is extremely important that you do not neglect your oral health and visit the dentist at least once in six months. Identifying and removing dental decay in the early stages will save a lot of money, time and effort in the long run. Thus, if you feel something doesn’t feel right with your teeth immediately book an appointment with your dentist and visit at the earliest.
To get a dental filling, contact Green Meadow Dental, 3579 B Berlin Turnpike, Newington CT 06111, (860)-865-0056. Families from Berlin find the easy drive to Newington well worthwhile because or our expertise and modern facilities, our friendly dental team and the relaxing disposition of Dr. Mukund.We also serve patients from surrounding areas like Portland, Kensington and Farmington.