A QUICK OUTLINE OF COMPOSITE RESIN FILLINGS
Odds are, any time you need to see your dental practitioner in Arlington, TX, you're crossing your fingers that he or she won't say you have a cavity. In fact, almost everyone will acquire a cavity or two at some point. For patients who've developed a cavity lately, it was likely filled with a tooth-colored filling. The modern alternative to the traditional alloy fillings, tooth-colored fillings are created with a composite resin substance that fills and closes off a cavity after the decayed area has been taken out. Unlike metal amalgam fillings, tooth-colored fillings match almost invisibly with your natural teeth to keep them looking healthy and attractive. Because tooth-colored fillings are among the top procedures done at MINT dentistry in South Arlington, we would like to go over some of the more common questions our patients ask about them.
HOW MUCH WILL I END UP PAYING FOR COMPOSITE RESIN CAVITY FILLINGS?
A patient's expense for a tooth-colored filling is influenced by many things. Two major issues are the measurement of the cavity and if sedation is required. Filling a cavity is a minor procedure, which means it can usually be performed with just local anesthesia in a short appointment. However, if you have dental fears or a severe gag reflex, dental sedation, such as nitrous oxide ("laughing" gas) or oral sedation medication, is sometimes suggested. For patients who have dental insurance, the practice should check your coverage prior to billing you for the remaining amount. For patients who don't carry insurance, many dental practices in Arlington, TX offer manageable payment options or accept low-interest medical financing. In most cases, it's cheaper to remedy a cavity with a tooth-colored filling than to neglect the issue until it gets worse.
FUTURE ISSUES IF YOU DON'T GET A PRESCRIBED FILLING
Opting to disregard your dentist's discovery of a cavity and encouragement to receive a tooth-colored filling can cause more pain and more expensive remedies in the future. When a cavity becomes too extensive for a tooth-colored filling, the tooth can be repaired with either an inlay or onlay. These treatments are larger than fillings but smaller than crowns. Inlays and onlays are created to cover the decayed part of the tooth as soon as it has been cleaned. If the decay has gotten to the pulp of the tooth, it's likely that a root canal will be needed. A root canal extracts the affected pulp inside the tooth, and, usually, the tooth is then fitted with a tailor-made crown to prevent future damage. Not seeking professional treatment can encourage the infection to branch out to the rest of your mouth and, in the end, to enter your circulatory system and affect other areas of your body. In summary, the longer you put off treating a cavity, the slower, more difficult, more costly, and more unpleasant the treatment will be. This is why it is extremely important to get yearly oral health exams with your dentist in Arlington, TX so they can diagnose and fix cavities right away.
PRACTICES PATIENTS CAN USE TO AVOID CAVITIES
At this point, you've likely realized that it is smarter (and less expensive) to avoid cavities from the get go. Though no one is completely immune from ending up with cavities, there are lots of things we can do to safeguard the health of our teeth:
- FLOSS EACH DAY
Cavities sometimes develop between the teeth and along your gumline. Therefore, it's important that you floss at least once a day. Flossing removes any food detritus stuck between your teeth and helps to stimulate blood circulation in your gum tissue. At your next dental cleaning, ask your dentist or hygienist to demonstrate the proper flossing technique to make sure that you obtain the maximum effectiveness from your oral hygiene routine.
- PREVENTIVE OPTIONS
If you are genetically susceptible to getting cavities or just want to be more diligent about preventing them, you might ask your dental practitioner about recommendations for preventive care. While they are typically recommended for younger patients, dental sealants and professional fluoride treatments are often smart options for some adults. Dental sealants are made from a clear, flexible material that is placed on the molars to help prevent different types of cavities from occurring in the uneven top surfaces of the premolars and molars. Professional fluoride treatments aid in hardening the enamel and warding off cavities. Usually, sealants and fluoride treatments are only paid for by dental insurance for adolescent and teen patients, but it's a smart investment for older patients who would like to avoid having cavities.
- CLEAN YOUR TEETH TWO TIMES EVERY DAY
Cleaning your teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste at least two times per day or after you eat is one of the most valuable things anyone can do to defend against cavities. The key times to brush your teeth are in the morning after having breakfast, as well as after dinner. This system will aid in cleaning away food debris and bacteria before they can develop into a cavity. Though it's typically not an option to brush after eating lunch, you should still rinse with mouthwash.
- SCHEDULE PROFESSIONAL CLEANINGS TWICE PER YEAR
An effective home oral care regimen is quite important in avoiding cavities, but scheduling professional cleanings two times per year at a dentist's office in Arlington, TX is also key. During your dental cleaning, your dental hygienist will thoroughly scale your teeth to remove any areas of accumulated plaque and tartar below your gumline. For those who brush and floss the recommended amount, there is typically very little buildup, but the majority of people will have at least a little, usually along the gumline or in areas that are challenging to reach, like the back teeth. Having biannual cleanings from the dentist will assist in the removal of accumulated debris before it turns into a cavity. You might also request your hygienist to tell you where they found the most buildup so you can concentrate on these spots more closely when you clean your teeth at home.
AN INNOVATIVE DENTAL TREATMENT FOR CAVITIES
If you do end up with a cavity, you need to have it treated right away with a composite resin filling at a dental practice in Arlington, TX. If you need a reputable dentist who provides innovative treatments such as composite resin fillings, schedule an appointment at MINT dentistry in South Arlington. Our staff of dental professionals can work with younger and older patients for any existing concerns, help them avoid future issues, and keep their smiles in top form.