You’ve had good dental checkups for the last several years. You brush your teeth and floss regularly, so you weren’t expecting any negative report. But instead, you were surprised to have the dentist tell you that you have a new cavity in one of your teeth.

Immediately, you feel nervous. After all, the last time you had a filling, you were 13 years old and your dentist didn’t even seem to numb your tooth all the way. It’s not a pleasant memory.

You probably have a number of opinions about dental fillings; perhaps it is time to set the record straight.

Misconception #1

Cavities always hurt. In reality, you may never feel a cavity, especially if you are keeping your semi-annual appointments with Dr. Kherani. In the course of six months, decay may begin, but is unlikely to get far enough to affect either the pulp or the root of the tooth. If you do experience pain in a tooth, you likely have a deeper issue occurring, like an infected nerve. Pain is a warning sign, but it’s not always the determining factor.

Misconception #2

Getting a dental filling is invasive and painful. Thankfully, the days of invasive, painful filings is long past. Using high grade local anesthetics, nitrous oxide, an oral sedative, or a combination of these things can allow you to have a dental treatment with little to no pain. Additionally, modern techniques, aids, and materials have come a long way. Drills have given way to air abrasion technology and metal amalgam fillings have been replaced with composite that requires less invasive preparation.

Misconception #3

It’s just a small cavity, I can wait to fill it. The thing about cavities is that they always start small. Once you have one, it doesn’t take long for it to eat through the rest of your tooth, destroying the enamel, dentin, and right down to the nerves and root. Once Dr. Kherani discovers a cavity, the most important thing to do is get it repaired immediately, while it’s still small.

Misconception #4

Fillings last forever. This one is unfortunately not true. Those fillings you got as a kid will need to be replaced in 10-15 years, likely while you’re in your late 20s-30s. They can fall out, leak, or be pulled out by sticky food. However you lose them, once you find that gaping hole, you need to make an appointment to get it fixed!

The bottom line is that cavities are a detrimental disease inside of your mouth. They can destroy your teeth, but there are ways to protect and repair your smile from further damage.

Kherani Dental at Aspen is committed to keeping your smile healthy in a gentle manner. Contact our Calgary office today.