My tooth isn’t hurting – why do I need a filling?

So, why is it so important that you get a filling?
You go to the dentist for a routine check up and clean. Your last visit to the dentist was maybe 6 months, 12 months or maybe a bit longer than that, but nothing has been bothering you with your teeth. Your dentist does the examination, perhaps takes some X-rays, and then tells you something that you might not have been expecting – you need a filling. Why?

There are indeed many signs and reasons as to why you would need a filling, such as:

-Sensitivity in your tooth, especially when your tooth is exposed to hot and cold temperatures, or sweet and sour foods

-Tooth pain, including aching, throbbing or sharp pains

-Pain or sensitivity when biting or applying pressure on your tooth

-A visible hole or dark spots in the tooth, which might indicate that there is tooth decay

Catching or tearing on your floss when you floss a particular spot between your teeth

A rough or sharp spot on your tooth, and your tongue keeps going to a certain spot

-Your tooth is chipped or fractured

However, it is important to understand that even if none of these symptoms is present, you still might need to have a filling done. Some cavities are small and hard to detect yourself until they progress and become a bigger problem. Fillings prevent decay and bacteria from progressing further and deeper into your tooth where the nerves and blood vessels are. If you already are feeling pain or can see a hole in your tooth, it often means that the decay is more severe and closer to your nerve. The closer the decay is to your nerve, the higher the chance that your nerve and blood vessels will become inflamed, which might result in the death of the nerve and blood vessels. If the tooth gets to this point, more complex treatment would be needed such as root canal treatment, or an extraction.

That’s why it’s important to go to the dentist every 6 months for a comprehensive check up and have X-rays taken so that any decay and cavity can be detected while it’s still in the early stages. X-rays help the dentist visualise any decay that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Unfortunately because many cavities can’t repair themselves and they can often spread quickly, it’s important that these cavities are fixed and filled by your dentist before they become a bigger problem. Of course, because prevention is always better than a cure, your dentist will also make sure that we can discuss strategies in preventing more cavities from occurring in the future, such as oral hygiene tips and diet advice.

If you are wanting more information about dental fillings, or think you might need a filling, book an appointment today with our skilled dentists at Syndal Dentistry and let us help you achieve your healthiest smile.

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