16 Jul How to Tell If You Need A Filling
One of the most common dental interventions, a filling is a straight-forward, comfortable procedure that’s used to (as the name suggests) fill small holes and irregularities in the tooth. Normally used as an initial treatment where decay has been caught early, fillings are one of the least invasive yet most effective ways of preserving a tooth.
Once the need for a dental filling has been identified, your dentist will schedule you a short appointment where the area to be filled will be cleaned and prepared, before a filling compound is applied. The process is normally short and comfortable; the dentist will use a local anaesthetic to ensure pain-free treatment.
How can I tell that I need a filling?
Frequently there are no signs that a filling is required when the tooth decay is quite slight. The need for a filling will normally be picked up by your dentist during the course of a scheduled check-up.
In most cases, a small filling is all that’s needed to restore the tooth to health. Where patients have not attended for regular check-ups, or where the tooth deterioration process has been unusually rapid, the most common signs that a filling is needed are as follows:
Toothache or related pain – If the decay has progressed to the stage that a nerve is partially exposed, or that infection has set in, causing swelling, then patients will probably experience pain.
A discoloured area on the tooth – The tooth will have a brown or black spot on it.
Loss of a pre-existing filling – Obviously, if a filling has fallen out, a replacement will be required.
Increased sensitivity – If you find that hot or cold foods are uncomfortable to eat, this could be because decay means the nerve of a tooth is now partially exposed.
Losing a part of a tooth – Biting on something hard, or trauma to the teeth may cause a chip or hole. For small chips, a filling may be the most appropriate treatment.
What should I do if I suspect I need a filling?
If you notice any unusual symptoms relating to your teeth or gums, it’s important to make a dental appointment as soon as you can. The earlier that the effects of decay can be treated, the less chance there is of the problem getting worse.
Schedule regular check-ups with Pellew Dental and make an additional appointment should you notice any of the above symptoms in order to ensure that you get the filling you need as soon as possible.