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4 Reasons a General Dentist Might Recommend a Dental Filling
A dental filling is one of the most common procedures done by a general dentist. Many patients find themselves needing one at some point in their lives. While this procedure is most frequently used for cavities, there are numerous reasons patients can benefit from a filling.
Why fillings are recommended
Dental fillings are made from different types of material, such as amalgam, porcelain and composite resin, and are generally long-lasting. The following are four of the most common reasons a general dentist may recommend a dental filling for patients.
When a tooth becomes decayed and a cavity has developed, a filling is typically the first treatment option that dentists choose. Cavities, regardless of size, need to be treated promptly to avoid infections and reduce any pain and sensitivity that the bacterial decay may cause. The dentist will remove all decay from inside the tooth and then add the filling inside. This restores the tooth so it is able to function normally and prevents bacteria from further developing.
2. Dental erosion
Dental erosion occurs when the enamel, which is the sturdy and protective coating over the teeth, is damaged from overexposure to acid. There are a number of factors that can result in too much acid exposure, including diet choices such as carbonated drinks and citrus-based fruit drinks. Certain medical conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease and hiatal hernias, can cause too much acid to back up into the throat. The acid then wears the enamel away, exposing the dentin underneath. This often causes pain and sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures.
A general dentist can use a filling to cover the teeth that have been impacted by enamel erosion. The material is often made of composite resin or porcelain.
3. Damaged teeth
Teeth can become damaged in numerous ways, most often through an injury or accident. Biting into something hard, such as candy or ice, can also cause a crack or break. When such damage occurs, it is important to visit the dentist as soon as possible to get treatment and prevent an infection from developing. For a tooth that is chipped or cracked, a dentist can repair the damage and restore the tooth by using a filling.
4. Teeth grinding
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, occurs when patients grind or clench their teeth. The condition can develop from abnormal alignment of the teeth, anxiety, stress, sleep apnea or the use of certain antidepressants. Patients are usually unaware of doing this and it frequently happens during the sleep cycle. Those who grind their teeth are at risk of causing damage to the teeth, including wearing of the enamel and breaking a tooth. General dentists may recommend a filling as a treatment option.
General dentists use fillings, one of the most common dental procedures, for numerous dental conditions. Fillings are a helpful treatment option that can help patients keep their teeth healthy and strong.
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