A BRIEF LOOK AT TOOTH-COLORED FILLINGS
Chances are, every time you are planning to go to your dentist in Forest Park, IL, you're hoping that he or she won't find a cavity. The truth is, almost everyone will acquire a cavity or two at some point. If you've been treated for a cavity recently, it was probably handled 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 unhealthy area has been removed. Unlike metal amalgam fillings, tooth-colored fillings blend gorgeously with your own teeth to keep your smile looking great. Because tooth-colored fillings are one of the most common procedures conducted at DentalWorks - Forest Park, we would like to discuss some of the most consistent questions our patients have about them.
WHAT WILL I HAVE TO PAY FOR TOOTH-COLORED FILLINGS?
A person's cost for a tooth-colored filling is determined by many factors. Two main factors are the measurement of the cavity and if sedation is needed. Filling a cavity is a routine procedure, so it can generally be completed with only local anesthesia in a short appointment. However, if you are affected by dental fears or a strong gag reflex, sedation, for example, nitrous oxide ("laughing" gas) or oral-conscious medication, is often recommended. For people who have dental insurance, the practice should make sure of your coverage before billing you for the remaining amount. For people who don't carry insurance, many dental practitioners in Forest Park, IL offer flexible payment plans or accept low-interest medical financing. For most patients, it's cheaper to fix a cavity with a tooth-colored filling than to avoid the problem until it gets bigger.
FUTURE ISSUES 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 result in more problems and costlier measures in the future. If a cavity grows too severe for a tooth-colored filling, it may be remedied with either an inlay or onlay. These treatments are larger than fillings but smaller than crowns. Inlays and onlays are created to fit over the decayed area once it has been cleaned. If the decay has gotten to the interior of the tooth, a root canal will be required. 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 travel to your other teeth, gums, and jawbone and, in the end, to get into your bloodstream and affect your total wellbeing. In short, the longer you put off fixing a cavity, the slower, more invasive, more expensive, and more painful the treatment will be. This is why it is critical to get annual oral health check-ups with a dentist in Forest Park, IL so they can diagnose and treat cavities early.
ROUTINES YOU CAN USE TO PREVENT CAVITIES
At this point, you've probably determined that it would be wiser (and cheaper) to avoid cavities altogether. While no one is completely immune from getting cavities, there are a few important things we can do to protect our teeth:
- FLOSS EVERY DAY
Cavities may 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 recommended flossing technique so that you get the optimal benefits from your daily routine.
- GET PROFESSIONAL CLEANINGS BI-ANNUALLY
A consistent home oral care routine is particularly important in preventing cavities, but scheduling professional cleanings at least twice a year at a dentist's office in Forest Park, IL is also critical. During your professional cleaning, a dental hygienist will skillfully 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 will likely be very little buildup, but most people will have varying amounts, 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 facilitate 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.
- 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 helpful things you can do to ward off cavities. The best times to brush are in the morning after breakfast and again after dinner. This habit will help with scrubbing off food debris and bacteria before they begin to lead to a cavity. On occasions when 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 might ask your dentist about options for preventive treatments. While they are more often recommended for younger patients, dental sealants and professional fluoride treatments may be smart choices for some adults. Dental sealants are a clear, flexible material that is deposited onto 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. Often, 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 ADVANCED DENTAL TREATMENT FOR CAVITIES
If you ever get a cavity, it's critical that you get it treated right away with a tooth-colored filling at a dental practice in Forest Park, IL. If you are searching for a great dentist who offers up-to-date treatments like tooth-colored fillings, schedule an appointment at DentalWorks - Forest Park. Our experienced team 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.