Zing! You feel a shot of pain when you drink something cold. Dental sensitivity is not normal. In fact, it often indicates the presence of dental decay. Dr. Mark Makela,your dentist in Petoskey, offers tooth-colored fillings to repair cavities and restore your tooth to optimal health and appearance. Today's fillings are realistic and durable. Best of all, they stop decay in its tracks.
Where does tooth decay occur?
Unfortunately, it happens both in baby teeth and adult teeth. While grooved molars and pre-molars at the back of the mouth decay more easily, front teeth can, too. Food residues (plaque and tartar) collect and degrade chewing surfaces, exposed tooth roots and interdental spaces.
Signs you need a filling
Dental sensitivity to sugar, heat, and cold is probably the number one sign. A toothache is another indicator, as well as:
- A noticeable dark or rough spot on your tooth
- A lost or chipped filling
- Frayed strand floss when you're doing your daily hygiene
- The texture or shape of your tooth looks or feels different
Additionally, your dentist in Petoskey can see and feel a cavity on oral examination and through digital X-ray imaging.
Treating tooth decay
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends several ways to ward off tooth decay:
- Make sure your daily diet is low in carbohydrates and processed sugars.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss around your teeth daily.
- Stay well-hydrated.
- See Dr. Makela every six months for a hygienic cleaning and comprehensive oral examination.
In essence, prevention of tooth decay is the best possible treatment. However, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research states that cavities remain the common chronic oral health problem in the United States.
So, Dr. Makela stays up to date on the latest treatment techniques. He uses quality filling materials to restore areas of decay. While some cavities may require metal amalgam, composite resin is appropriate for most situations. Composite resin is a tooth-colored mix of glass and plastic. It bonds directly to tooth enamel and requires less enamel reduction than amalgam.
Porcelain inlays or onlays--also called partial crowns--are ceramic fillings which repair larger cavities or replace multiple fillings. Glass ionomer is another modern material which delivers fluoride along with remaking and strengthening areas of decay on the tongue- or cheek-side of teeth.
Do you need a filling?
Only your dentist, Dr. Mark Makela, can tell you for certain whether you need a filling. Be sure to keep all your routine exam and cleaning appointments, and if you suspect any problem, please call our office in Petoskey, MI, right away at (231) 347-2511.