Fillings and Sealants
Tooth decay and cavities are common dental issues. Opting for a tooth-colored filling to repair your tooth not only addresses the issue but also prevents against further decay that would lead into a more severe condition.
Tooth Fillings and Sealants
in Tinley Park, IL
What is a tooth filling?
A filling serves as a straightforward restorative procedure used to address cavities or minor decay or damage. Fillings are very common and have a high success rate. At Amazing Smiles in Tinley park, we provide composite fillings, as they are the natural color of teeth, making them a more aesthetically pleasing choice for visible teeth.
What are dental sealants?
Sealants are a thin protective coating applied to teeth, serving to protect against the development of cavities. While commonly used for children, adults can also benefit from this preventive treatment. By applying sealants to the deep chewing surfaces of your rear teeth, the likelihood of cavity formation is decreased. These grooves and pits can be challenging to clean with a toothbrush, making them susceptible to cavities. The application of sealants creates a smoother and more accessible surface for brushing, minimizing bacteria in these areas. Sealants offer a swift and cost-effective means of preventing cavities and the need for tooth fillings.
How do cavity fillings work?
Cavity and tooth fillings are required because of the deterioration of holes left in the tooth due to tooth decay. Left unchecked, the decay will continue to spread and damage the tooth. During the filling procedure, dentists clean away the decay inside the cavity, usually with a drill to prevent further damage. But this doesn’t fix the damage that has already been created, so a filling is necessary. The intent of the filling is to replace the part of the tooth that is missing or destroyed by tooth decay. The dentist molds the filling to match the shape of the surrounding tooth, which restores the strength and integrity of the tooth and prevents further decay from happening.
Should I have tooth sensitivity after a filling?
When you get a filling, the area around the infected tooth is numbed by your dentist. As a result, you likely won’t feel anything for an hour or two after your appointment but once the numbing wears off it is typical to feel pain in your teeth and gums.
Pain is common when drinking or eating anything that is hot or cold. It is also common when you brush or floss near the infected tooth. Tender gums are also typical after getting a cavity filled.
Minimize Tooth Sensitivity
You can reduce the sensitivity in your teeth and gums by:
- Taking an anti-inflammatory drug, like Advil or Motrin
- Temporarily avoiding hot, cold, or acidic foods and beverages such as fruit, wine, and yogurt
- Brush and floss more gently
- Use a desensitizing toothpaste like Sensodyne or Colgate Sensitive
How long does a dental sealant last?
Dental sealants have been used and proven to be effective since the 1970s. They are mainly placed on chewing surfaces and are effective in preventing tooth decay. Their lifespan can vary, but many last years—and it is possible to place a new sealant on a tooth if the sealant wears off. It is important to note that sealants only protect the surface of the tooth they are placed on. Using fluoride and other preventative cleaning practices will still help protect all the surfaces of the tooth from decay and cavities.
Who qualifies for dental sealants?
Sealants are designed for healthy teeth that have yet to develop cavities. In most cases, they’re placed on permanent molars shortly after they come in (around the ages of 6 and 12, respectively). However, adults can choose to get sealants too. It may be that their childhood sealants came off or they’re starting to develop cavities in other teeth for the first time.
Investing in affordable dental sealants can help you prevent more extensive (and expensive) oral health treatments in the future.
If you have more questions about tooth fillings and sealants, please contact our office and we will be happy to discuss further.