Even if you brush and floss your teeth consistently, tooth decay can still strike. Dental fillings are necessary to stop more damage. Dr. Lance Porter of Porter Dental Clinic in Hot Springs discusses the reasons fillings are such an important part of dentistry.
Cavities and Tooth Decay
Cavities are holes in the hard surfaces of the teeth resulting from tooth decay that causes permanent damage. Tooth decay is high on the list of the most common health problems facing the world. Bad teeth lead to so many other health issues, including periodontal and heart disease.
Lack of good oral hygiene, as well as a diet high in sugary foods, contributes to tooth decay. However, very few people go through life without cavities, no matter how well they take care of themselves. Children are vulnerable to cavities but so are adults.
The dentist removes the decayed section of the tooth using a drill. A filling is then placed in the space. This limits further damage while protecting the rest of the tooth.
While fillings are used primarily to repair areas of tooth decay, they serve other functions. Fillings can repair tooth cracks or breaks. They also restore the ability to eat comfortably.
A dental filling may last 15 years or longer. Much depends on the type of material chosen; for example, porcelain and gold last longer than other materials. Your dentist will discuss the best filling material for your needs.
An Ounce of Prevention
Drillings and fillings are not on anyone’s list of favorite things to do. That ounce of prevention, however, can save you from costlier cures over time.
If the cavity is not filled, the decay spreads further into the tooth. Eventually, the infection could reach the nerves in your root canal, and tooth abscesses may form.
Without treatment, you could lose your tooth. Tooth replacement is much more expensive and time-consuming than fillings. In extremely rare cases, an untreated tooth infection can even be deadly. If the infection reaches behind the eye to the cavernous sinus, it can eventually make its way to the brain.
While most people will never suffer this worst-case scenario, there are other factors in tooth decay that seriously affect quality of life. Losing teeth not only harms self-esteem, it can also mean the patient is limited to soft foods in their eating choices.
Contact Porter Dental Clinic
Dental fillings are necessary to preserve tooth and overall health when cavities occur. Regular checkups can catch cavities in the earliest stages. Have your dental needs addressed by scheduling a personal consultation at Porter Dental Clinic. Contact our Hot Springs office and speak to a member of our team today.