A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF TOOTH-COLORED FILLINGS
Chances are, every time you need to go to your dentist in Northville, MI, you're hoping that he or she won't find a cavity. However, almost everyone has had a cavity or two at some point. If you've gotten a cavity recently, it was probably treated with a tooth-colored filling. The modern alternative to the old, silver fillings, tooth-colored fillings are made of a composite resin material that fills and seals a cavity after the decayed area has been removed. Unlike metal amalgam fillings, tooth-colored fillings blend seamlessly with your own teeth to keep your smile looking great. Because tooth-colored fillings are one of the most common procedures performed at DentalWorks - Northville, we would like to review some of the most common questions our patients have about them.
WHAT WILL I HAVE TO PAY FOR TOOTH-COLORED FILLINGS?
The cost for a tooth-colored filling is determined by many factors. Two main factors are the size of the cavity and if sedation is needed. Filling a cavity is a noninvasive procedure, so it can generally be performed with only local anesthesia in a short appointment. However, if you have dental fears or a strong gag reflex, sedation, for example, nitrous oxide ("laughing" gas) or oral-conscious medication, may be recommended. If you have dental insurance, the practice should confirm your coverage before billing you for the remaining amount. For individuals who don't carry insurance, many dentists in Northville, MI offer flexible payment plans or accept low-interest medical financing. In most cases, it's cheaper to fix a cavity with a tooth-colored filling than to ignore the problem until it gets bigger.
CONSEQUENCES IF YOU DON'T GET A RECOMMENDED FILLING
Choosing to ignore your dentist's diagnosis of a cavity and recommendation to get a tooth-colored filling can lead to more problems and costlier treatments in the future. If a cavity grows too large for a tooth-colored filling, it may be repaired with either an inlay or onlay. These treatments are larger than fillings but smaller than crowns. Inlays and onlays are custom made to fit over the decayed area once it has been cleaned. If the decay has spread to the interior of the tooth, a root canal will be needed. Root canal therapy removes the infected pulp inside the tooth, and, often, the tooth is then covered with a custom crown for protection. Delaying seeking professional help can cause the infection to spread to your other teeth, gums, and jawbone and, eventually, to get into your bloodstream and affect your whole body. In short, the longer you put off fixing a cavity, the longer, more invasive, more expensive, and more painful the treatment will be. This is why it is extremely important to get annual oral health check-ups with a dentist in Northville, MI so they can diagnose and treat cavities early.
THINGS YOU CAN USE TO PREVENT CAVITIES
At this point, you've probably figured out that it would be easier (and cheaper) to avoid cavities altogether. While no one is completely immune from getting cavities, there are many things we can do to protect our teeth:
- FLOSS EVERY DAY
Cavities can develop between your teeth and along your gum line. That's why it's important that you floss at least once a day. Flossing removes the debris stuck in your teeth and helps to stimulate your gums. At your next dental cleaning, ask your dentist or hygienist to demonstrate the proper flossing technique so that you get the optimal benefits from your daily routine.
- BRUSH YOUR TEETH TWICE A DAY
Brushing your teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day or after you eat is one of the best things you can do to prevent cavities. The best times to brush are in the morning after breakfast and again after dinner. This habit will help with removing food debris and bacteria before they begin to form a cavity. At times when it's not feasible to brush after eating lunch, you can still rinse with mouthwash.
- GET PROFESSIONAL CLEANINGS BI-ANNUALLY
A good home oral care routine is extremely important in preventing cavities, but having professional cleanings at least twice a year at a dentist's office in Northville, MI is also necessary. During your professional cleaning, a dental hygienist will carefully scale your enamel to remove any areas of built-up plaque and tartar beneath your gum line. If you brush and floss every day, there will probably be very little buildup, but most people will have at least a little, typically along the gum line or in areas that are difficult to reach, like the back molars. Getting bi-annual cleanings at the dentist will help in the removal of buildup before it turns into a cavity. You may also ask your hygienist to tell you where they found the most plaque and tartar so you can focus on these areas more closely when you brush at home.
- PREVENTIVE TREATMENTS
If you are prone to getting cavities or just would like to be more proactive in avoiding them, you can ask your dentist about options for preventive treatments. While they are more often recommended for younger patients, dental sealants and professional fluoride treatments can also be smart choices for some adults. Dental sealants are a clear, flexible material that is applied to the back teeth to help prevent pit and fissure cavities from developing in the irregular top surfaces of the premolars and molars. Professional fluoride treatments help in strengthening the enamel and warding off cavities. Typically, sealants and fluoride treatments are covered by dental insurance only for younger patients, but it's a smart investment for adults who want to avoid developing cavities.
A MODERN DENTAL TREATMENT FOR CAVITIES
If you do get a cavity, you should get it treated right away with a tooth-colored filling at a dental practice in Northville, MI. If you are looking for a great dentist who offers modern treatments like tooth-colored fillings, schedule an appointment at DentalWorks - Northville. Our team of dental professionals can work with patients of all ages for any current issues and help you avoid future problems to keep your smile healthy.