A BRIEF REVIEW OF TOOTH-COLORED FILLINGS
Chances are, every time you are scheduled to go to your dentist in High Point, NC, you're hoping that he or she won't find a cavity. Actually, almost everyone will get a cavity or two at some point. If you've developed a cavity recently, it was probably addressed 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 compromised area has been removed. Unlike metal amalgam fillings, tooth-colored fillings blend almost invisibly with your own teeth to keep your smile looking great. Because tooth-colored fillings are one of the most common procedures requested at DentalWorks - High Point, we would like to cover some of the most regular questions our patients have about them.
WHAT WILL I HAVE TO PAY FOR TOOTH-COLORED FILLINGS?
A patient's cost for a tooth-colored filling is determined by many factors. Two main factors are the depth of the cavity and if sedation is needed. Filling a cavity is a simple procedure, so it can generally be conducted with only local anesthesia in a short appointment. However, if you deal with dental fears or a strong gag reflex, sedation, for example, nitrous oxide ("laughing" gas) or oral-conscious medication, could be recommended. For those who have dental insurance, the practice should check your coverage before billing you for the remaining amount. If you don't carry insurance, many practices in High Point, NC offer flexible payment plans or accept low-interest medical financing. Typically, it's cheaper to fix a cavity with a tooth-colored filling than to disregard the problem until it gets bigger.
OUTCOMES 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 add up to more problems and costlier remedies in the future. If a cavity grows too deep for a tooth-colored filling, it may be addressed with either an inlay or onlay. These treatments are larger than fillings but smaller than crowns. Inlays and onlays are specially crafted to fit over the decayed area once it has been cleaned. If the decay has extended to the interior of the tooth, a root canal will need to be performed. 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 extend to your other teeth, gums, and jawbone and, gradually, to get into your bloodstream and affect your general health. In short, the longer you put off fixing a cavity, the more protracted, more invasive, more expensive, and more painful the treatment will be. This is why it is imperative to get annual oral health check-ups with a dentist in High Point, NC so they can diagnose and treat cavities early.
STEPS YOU CAN USE TO PREVENT CAVITIES
At this point, you've probably come to see that it would be smarter (and cheaper) to avoid cavities altogether. While no one is completely immune from getting cavities, there are several things we can do to protect our teeth:
- GET PROFESSIONAL CLEANINGS BI-ANNUALLY
A sufficient home oral care routine is quite important in preventing cavities, but receiving professional cleanings at least twice a year at a dentist's office in High Point, NC is also imperative. During your professional cleaning, a dental hygienist will meticulously 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 is generally very little buildup, but most people will have a small amount, 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 assist 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.
- FLOSS EVERY DAY
Cavities often 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 most effective 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 most effective things you can do to keep from getting cavities. The best times to brush are in the morning after breakfast and again after dinner. This habit will help with eliminating food debris and bacteria before they begin to create a cavity. If it's not feasible to brush after eating lunch, you can still rinse with mouthwash.
- PREVENTIVE TREATMENTS
If you are prone to getting cavities or just would like to be more proactive in avoiding them, you should ask your dentist about options for preventive treatments. While they are more often recommended for younger patients, dental sealants and professional fluoride treatments are often smart choices for some adults. Dental sealants are a clear, flexible material that is placed on 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. Usually, 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.
AN INNOVATIVE DENTAL TREATMENT FOR CAVITIES
If you unfortunately get a cavity, it's important to get it treated right away with a tooth-colored filling at a dental practice in High Point, NC. If you need a great dentist who offers advanced treatments like tooth-colored fillings, schedule an appointment at DentalWorks - High Point. Our incredible crew 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.