Smiles By The Lake
Richard Rhoads, Jr., DDS
General Dentist & Cosmetic Dentist located in Overland Park, KS
Cavities are one of the most common health problems worldwide, for both children and adults. Luckily, if you’re seeing your dentist for regular checkups, you can catch these cavities early and patch them up with a filling before the decay spreads any further. For expert filling placement and thorough dental exams, call Smiles by the Lake of Overland Park, Kansas, today and schedule an appointment with Richard Rhoads, Jr., DDS. Make your appointment over the phone with the friendly staff, or use the online scheduling tool.
Why do I need a filling?
Your tooth is protected by a hard layer of enamel, but sometimes this enamel can be weakened by a variety of factors, including high sugar intake or poor oral hygiene habits. When this enamel becomes weakened, small holes or permanently damaged areas, called cavities, begin to appear. Cavities are extremely common in both children and adults, and once they appear, they will continue to grow bigger and affect deeper parts of the tooth.
A dental filling is used to fill the space created by the cavity to protect the tooth from further damage and decay. A variety of options is available for the filling material, and you can discuss which one is right for you with Dr. Rhoads.
How do I know if I have a cavity?
Signs and symptoms of cavities can vary based on their position, size, and the extent of the decay. When a cavity first develops, it may show no symptoms at all, but as it develops, you may experience:
- Toothache, or spontaneous pain that occurs for no apparent reason
- Tooth sensitivity to pressure and extreme temperatures
- Sharp pain when you eat or drink something hot, cold, or sweet
- Visible holes, or pits, forming in the surface of the tooth
- Brown or black staining on any part of the tooth
- Pain when you bite down
It’s important to get regular dental checkups even when you’re not having symptoms, as you could still have a cavity. Catching cavities as early as possible is extremely important for the health of your teeth.
What’s it like to get a filling?
That depends on how extensive the decay is, but the general process is relatively straightforward. First, Dr. Rhoads anesthetizes your tooth and the surrounding area to minimize discomfort. He then removes any decay with a dental drill. Most patients report a buzzing or vibrating sensation from this part of the procedure, but no pain.
Then, Dr. Rhoads prepares the tooth with a gel so that it can support a filling and places the filling, hardening it under a special light to secure it in place. The last step is shaping and polishing the filling so that it blends in with the rest of your teeth seamlessly.
If you’ve got a cavity or need a filling replaced, call Smiles by the Lake today to set up an appointment, or set one up online.