A dental filling procedure is often the first treatment option when it comes to dealing with cavities. These dental restorations help stop tooth decay in its tracks and prevent cavities from becoming any larger. Fillings can be made from a wide range of materials like gold, composites, and silver amalgam.
Tooth decay is one of the most common dental issues dentists deal with, right next to gum disease. It is often caused by acids in consumed food and acids created by bacteria that live in the mouth. The bacteria convert leftover food particles into acids that destroy teeth enamel. Once the enamel is compromised, a cavity develops, and it will continue to expand until it is treated.
Cavities lead to issues like toothaches, bad breath, a nasty taste in the mouth, and sensitivity to hot and cold foods. It gets even worse, though. When left untreated, tooth decay will eventually make its way into the pulp chamber. This is where the nerves and pulp of the tooth are located. Once this area is exposed to irritants in the mouth, the person will start to experience persistent toothaches.
If dental care is not sought immediately, the pulp chamber can be infected by bacteria, which leads to an infection. At that point, only a root canal or extraction can be used to save the patient's health. Both of these procedures are significantly more expensive than getting a simple dental filling procedure.
How to Prepare for a Dental Filling Procedure
1. Set an appointment
Patients are advised to schedule an appointment with a dentist when they notice a cavity on one or more of their teeth. The dentist will make a proper diagnosis and come up with the best treatment plan. An X-ray is often part of the evaluation since it allows the dentist to see what is going on underneath each tooth.
2. Pick a filling material
As mentioned, fillings can be made from a variety of materials, like silver amalgam and composites. Make sure the dentist provides the type of filling material you want.
3. Figure out the financial details
Most insurance plans cover fillings, but there is no need to worry if yours does not. Fillings are very affordable and most dental clinics have payment plans.
4. Deal with dental phobia
Patients who have dental anxiety should look for ways to overcome them. They can use relaxation techniques, get support from forums, or talk to their dentist about dental sedatives.
5. Ask any questions you have
The dentist can help you deal with issues like dental anxiety, or explain the benefits of different types of fillings. Do not hesitate to ask any questions you might have.
Do not let a small cavity turn into something bigger that will end up costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. When you detect a cavity, seek dental help immediately.