Research has found that, on average, dental caries affect approximately 80% of people globally. It means cavities are pretty common currently. In fact, WHO reports 2.3 million victims of untreated cavities.
To prevent these cavities from worsening and becoming infections, a dentist may put in a filling to stabilize and repair the tooth structure.
Surprisingly, sometimes you may find from your dentist that your fillings have done nothing to cover up your cavities. Dental fillings, like metal brackets and veneers, are often not designed to correct dental problems.
So, will dental fillings cure cavities? Let’s find out!
What Are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are a standard treatment for cavities. But what exactly are they?
Dental fillings aid in the repair and restore teeth that cavities have damaged. They can be created from porcelain or gold or a combination of both. Fillings can also be made of plastic resin, composite resin (a mixture of plastic and glass particles), or silver amalgam (an alloy mostly of mercury).
A dentist usually places fillings after cleaning out the tooth’s decay. After removing all decayed material, he will fill the cavity with an appropriate filling material.
Benefits of Dental Fillings
Dental fillings are placed in teeth to prevent cavities from forming. They have two main parts: the filling material and the resin or composite used to hold the filling in place.
Dentists often recommend fillings for cavities because:
- They effectively seal holes in teeth, which prevent further decay.
- Fillings also improve the strength of teeth, so they don’t break when chewing or biting down on something hard. This can be especially beneficial if you have a weakened tooth at risk for breaking or fracturing during an accident or trauma.
Will They Cure Cavities?
Dental fillings have evolved considerably over the years, but their purpose has remained the same: to restore damaged or decayed teeth. Most commonly, dental fillings are from a combination of materials designed to bond to the tooth and provide a strong foundation for the natural tooth structure.
So, will they cure cavities?
A dental filling aims to restore the tooth’s structure and strength and prevent further decay. Also, filings treat small cracks and chips in teeth, but they’re also effective in repairing large cavities.
While dental fillings are very effective at stopping decay from spreading within a tooth, they don’t treat the underlying causes of decay — plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. Once you have a cavity filled, it’s essential to keep up with regular dental visits and brush and floss to prevent future cavities from forming in other areas of your mouth!
Types of Filling Materials
The most common filling materials are amalgam (silver), composite resin (plastic), porcelain, gold, and glass ionomer cement. Each type of dental filling tends to have specific characteristics that make it more or less appropriate in certain situations, depending on your needs and preferences.
Amalgam is one of the ancient materials used for filling cavities. It has been around for more than 150 years and remains very popular due to its low cost compared with other materials like porcelain or gold crowns that require more time and effort from dentists and patients alike.
What is a Cavity?
A cavity is a tiny hole in the tooth caused by tooth decay (also known as dental caries). The cavity forms when plaque bacteria eats away at the surface of your tooth enamel — a clear substance that covers your teeth — causing microscopic holes in it. When these holes become too big or deep, they can cause pain and infection if not treated quickly.
Is Cavity Filling Permanent?
Yes! Just like dental bonding, teeth cavity filling is permanent. However, a filling may also be temporary, depending on your chosen type. Permanent fillings are more expensive than temporary ones but last longer — up to 10 years!
However, if your tooth has been damaged due to trauma or decay, it may not be possible to repair the damage. In this case, it can be achieved with dental implants.
Are Dental Implants Similar to Fillings?
No. Dental implants are an artificial replacement for lost teeth that look and function like natural teeth. The dentist places them into the jawbone, where they fuse with the bone. It means that they cannot remove without damaging the bone.
What Causes Tooth Cavities?
Tooth cavities are caused by bacteria that eat away at the enamel layer of your teeth. Left untreated can lead to pain, sensitivity, and tooth loss.
How do You Prevent Tooth Cavities?
Here are some tips to help you prevent cavities from forming in the first place.
- Regularly flossing is the perfect way to keep your gums healthy and cavity-free. If you don’t floss, brush using a soft-bristled toothbrush twice daily. Use dental floss once weekly to remove food particles and plaque buildup between your teeth.
- Brush your tongue daily to clean out debris and bacteria that may cause cavities.
- Avoid acidic foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes, and vinegar. These foods can erode tooth enamel over time.
- Don’t smoke cigarettes. Smoking causes acid reflux, which leads to bad breath and gum disease.
- Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. They contain antioxidants that fight free radicals and reduce inflammation.