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Reasons for Dental Filler Treatment from a General Dentist
When a dentist recommends that a patient get a dental filler, it is for good reason. Dental fillers have been around for centuries and serve a number of purposes, including but not limited to filling the space where a cavity once was, repairing a fractured tooth and covering discoloration, among others.
Top reasons a dentist may recommend a dental filler
Dental fillings have saved countless teeth and repaired countless smiles. Below is an overview of just how these nifty little dental aids are used in the field of dentistry.
Remove and fill cavities
For newly developing cavities, a dentist will likely recommend that the patient adopt oral hygiene habits and implement certain oral health products designed to reverse the damage. However, for mature cavities, damage reversal is not an option.
In these cases, the dentist may remove the cavity altogether. Once the decay is gone, the patient's tooth will have a hole in it. The dentist will then use a dental filler to fill the hole and prevent further decay. Depending on the type of filler material the dentist uses, which can range from gold to silver to porcelain, a filling may last for as little as five years to a couple of decades.
Repair a fracture
There are several reasons a patient may wish to use a filler to fill the gap left by a fracture. Fractures are uncomfortable for many and downright painful for others. An untreated fracture may also lead to further damage and decay, which could eventually result in the overall deterioration of a patient's oral health. Fillers are an inexpensive yet effective way to treat a fracture, prevent future problems and restore comfort.
Many people assume that veneers are the only way to hide severe discoloration, but that is not the case. If whitening and veneers are not an option for a patient, a dentist may recommend fillers. Applying fillers can cover years of extensive exposure to coffee, wine, soda, candy and other substances that are harmful to one's smile.
Fill small holes
It is not uncommon for patients' teeth to develop small holes over several decades. Acidic beverages such as coffee, wine and soda can cause the development of these holes, as can grinding and clenching. Whatever the cause, dental fillers are a great solution. Though many small holes are not cavities, if not filled in a timely manner, they can lead to decay as bacteria and food particles crowd the crevices and break down the tooth structure.
Restore tooth structure
Several factors can compromise the structure of a tooth, including but not limited to decay, fractures, chips, holes or other damage. If the tooth is missing enough of its structure, fillers may be necessary to enhance the support and visual uniformity of one's smile.
Despite popular belief, dentists use dental fillings for much more than cavities. From repairing a fracture and filling small holes to hiding discoloration and restoring the structural integrity of a tooth, dental fillers can work wonders on a smile. Talk to your dentist today about whether a dental filler is right for you.
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