Having a cavity filled is something that most people will experience at one time in their lives. However, for such a common occurrence, not all dental patients understand why dental fillings are needed or how they're applied. From the office of your Provo, UT dentists, Drs. Gary and Kevin Weist, discover the science behind dental fillings and when you might need one yourself.
A brief history of fillings
Ancient fillings have been found in skeletons that are nearly 10,000 years old, and the basic function of fillings hasn't changed much since then. Before modern times, materials like beeswax were used to fill cavities; later, metals such as gold, silver, and tin were softened and applied to the teeth that needed repair. We can assume that back then, anesthetic was minimal or non-existent, so removal of the decay was likely a very uncomfortable procedure. Fortunately, your Provo dentist uses the latest in dental science to make all procedures, including fillings, a painless and hassle-free experience.
These days, cavity fillings are a routine procedure. Diagnosis of a cavity is made during a visual examination or analysis of an X-ray. To repair a cavity, anesthetic is applied to the area and the decay is carefully removed. The prepared tooth is then cleaned and filled with a glass and plastic-based putty. This resin, as it's called, is tooth-colored in order to blend in. All in all, simple cavity fillings usually take no more than an hour to complete, and can last a decade or more before needing replacement or repair.
Signs you may need a filling
As we discussed above, a cavity may be diagnosed during a checkup with your Provo dentist. However, sometimes there are symptoms that you'll notice at home. You may discover a new, chalky white or dark-colored spot on a tooth that can't be removed with brushing. You may also find that your floss begins to snag on a certain tooth. Tooth sensitivity may also occur as the decay progresses. Any of these situations warrant a trip to Provo Dental for an examination.
If you're showing signs of needing a filling, or you have further questions, call 801-374-8205 to speak to one of Provo Dental's friendly staff members about making an appointment with Dr. Kevin Wiest or Dr. Gary Wiest today.