How Do I Know If I Need a Dental Filling?

An image of a dental filling.Dental decay is a common issue that affects many—but that doesn’t make it any less serious! If left untreated, it can become a severe threat to your overall oral health and cause you a great deal of pain. Fortunately, dental fillings are one of the many available solutions used to address this problem that can help you restore your smile to a healthy and beautiful state. But how do you know when you’re in need of a dental filling? Keep reading to learn more from your dentist in Corte Madera about dental fillings and some signs that you might need one.

What Are Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings are designed to protect your teeth from the ravaging effects of tooth decay. When you eat and drink, the sugars in whatever it is you’re consuming interact with the bacteria inside your mouth, creating acids that soften and dissolve your tooth enamel. This can lead to all sorts of problems that necessitate treatment like tooth decay and cavities; but dental fillings can prevent this. If the decay is able to be addressed, a filling can be placed on the tooth, restoring it, and protecting it from future decay.

There are a few different types of fillings, based on what they’re composed of. Composite resin fillings are made of a natural-looking resin that matches your teeth (making them very popular) and can last for around five or so years. Amalgam fillings, which used to be the go-to option, are made from a mixture of materials like mercury, copper, zinc, tin, and silver. They can last for 10 years and are a great option for restoring teeth towards the back of the mouth. Gold fillings can also be used, made from a mixture of gold and other metals. Their lifespan can exceed 15 years.

When Is a Dental Filling Necessary?

Fortunately, there’s little guesswork involved when trying to determine if a dental filling is necessary. Here are some of the common signs and symptoms that usually indicate you need one:

  • Tooth sensitivity.
  • Throbbing or sharp pain.
  • Damage to a previous filling.
  • A chipped or fractured tooth.
  • Food constantly becoming stuck between your teeth.
  • The floss string tearing whenever you floss.
  • Dark spots or a hole in your tooth.

If you suspect that you might need a dental filling, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist. Even though good hygiene can go a long way towards protecting your mouth from the likes of tooth decay, sometimes your pearly whites need a little extra help; dental fillings can fit the bill!

About the Author

Dr. Julie Young has proudly served patients and families in Corte Madera and the surrounding area for several years. Dr. Young received her dental doctorate from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry and is a member of several professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the prestigious Academy of General Dentistry. Her practice is pleased to offer a wide range of available services including preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. If you have any questions about the article or would like to schedule a visit, you can contact Dr. Young through her website or over the phone:  (415) 924-5300.