What is a Filling?
If tooth decay is not repaired at its early stages, it will worsen and additional or alternative dental treatments may be necessary. A filling is a more cost-effective treatment with a number of benefits, including:
- Repairs and restores the surface of a tooth that has been damaged by decay, fracture or wear
- Strengthens the tooth
- Extends the life of the tooth
Why Do I Need a Filling?
A dentist will often recommend a filling in two situations. They are:
- The surface enamel of a tooth is damaged due to decay, fracture, or wear.
- A tooth’s surface needs to be evened out to improve your ability to bite or chew.
Warning Signs a Filling May Be Necessary
There are a number of warning signs that may indicate a filling will be necessary, including:
- Tooth sensitivity to extreme hot or extreme cold temperatures can be an early warning sign of tooth decay
- Pain when biting into food, bearing down or clenching the teeth
- An ear ache, which can sometimes be referred pain from a toothache
- Persistent headaches with no other cause
While there could be a number of reasons for this sensation, only your Dentist can diagnose its underlying cause. If a damaged tooth surface is not treated early, your discomfort will increase.
With proper care and dental hygiene, a filling has a lifespan of 5-12 years, depending upon the type of filling material used.