How do I know if I have a cavity and need dental fillings?
Taking care of the teeth and gums improves oral health and wellness, which should always be a top priority. Knowing what to look for when problems arise is also critical. The dentist at Crestwood Dental Group in St. Louis, Missouri, works with patients to educate them on when issues have developed and what to look for as indicators. Certain conditions, including tooth decay, have telltale signs that should not be ignored.
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay is best described as an infection that causes a breakdown of the tooth enamel. This type of decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth, which form plaque. Plaque builds up on surfaces of the natural teeth, producing acid that erodes the enamel and eventually leads to cavities.
How can I tell if I have a cavity?
When it comes to detecting cavities, the American Dental Association recommends scheduling regular visits to the dentist. During routine cleanings and exams, your dentist will be able to spot potential problems and provide you with a diagnosis. There are also some symptoms that can alert patients, such as:
- Visible holes or pits in the teeth
- Tooth sensitivity or pain when chewing or drinking hot/cold liquids
- Discoloration of the tooth surface
- Bad breath (halitosis) or a persistent bad taste in the mouth
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is vital that you contact Dr. James Maxwell and his team at Crestwood Dental Group as soon as possible. Early detection and effective treatment can help prevent further damage to your teeth and gums.
What can be done about cavities?
Depending on the severity of tooth decay, your dental provider may recommend various treatments. For less severe cases, a dental filling may be all that is necessary. However, a crown may be required if the cavity is more advanced. Dr. Maxwell will determine the best course of action for your specific situation.
What can I expect during the process of getting new dental fillings?
Areas of decay should be treated as soon as possible with dental fillings to keep the decay from getting larger, deeper, and more damaging to the natural tooth structure. When placing a dental filling, we start by ensuring the patient is comfortable in the dental chair. We administer local anesthetics to numb the area and alleviate pain. Once the patient is ready, we remove the decayed portion from the tooth. The tooth is disinfected and cleaned out before the filling material is placed. At our office, we avoid using silver amalgam fillings and instead offer tooth-colored fillings made from composite resin.
Where can I obtain cavity fillings near me in the St. Louis, Missouri, area?
Taking care of your oral health is vital to ensure long-term wellness and comfort. Knowing how to detect cavities and what to look for can help you catch decay in its earliest stages and improve your chances of effective treatment. Call (314) 463-5655 to request an appointment at 10000 Watson Road, South Building, Suite J, in St. Louis, MO, to work with our team at Crestwood Dental Group.
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