How Do I Know If I Need a Filling?

How Do I Know If I Need a Filling?

While practicing good oral health, such as regularly brushing, avoiding sugary foods, and flossing after every meal can be important in preventing tooth decay, most people will find themselves in need of a dental filling at some point in their lives. Fillings restore the tooth, prevent further damage, and allow the tooth to function as normal. Wondering if you need a filling? Continue reading our blog to learn more about identifying symptoms and when you need to schedule an appointment with a dentist.

Signs & Symptoms of Tooth Decay

When the tooth suffers from decay, a dentist will need to remove the decayed area, clean around the decay, and fill the tooth with certain material to prevent bacteria from entering. This filling material can be gold, silver, plastic, or porcelain. Depending on the location of the filling and your specific dental needs, a dentist can use any of these substances to mend your teeth.

There are a few signs that can indicate that it is time for a filling:

  • Sensitivity to hot, cold, and sugary foods
  • Pain when biting or chewing on a certain tooth
  • General tooth pain
  • Dark spot on the surface of the tooth
  • Tearing floss in a particular spot
  • Food being stuck in certain sports
  • Rough, broken, chipped, or fractured tooth
  • Filling that has already fallen out

However, just because you don't notice any of these symptoms does not mean that you won't still need a filling. In some instances, cavities and decay can be found deep under the surface of the tooth and can only be discovered using an x-ray.

A dentist will look at each tooth, one by one, for soft spots and decay. Usually, they will dry the tooth using air and then probe the tooth with a tool. If the probe sticks slightly in suspicious soft spots, it can indicate decay that will need to be addressed as soon as possible.

If you have not received a check-up in longer than six months, it is time to get examined by a dentist. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Nidhi A. Pai, DMD to help keep your teeth healthy for years and years to come!


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