While receiving a dental filling is one of the more common ways to deal with tooth decay, it’s not always the best solution. Depending on certain factors, it may be better to either extract the tooth and replace it with an implant, or to undergo a root canal. Are you a good candidate for receiving a filling instead? Here are a few factors that indicate a filling will work best in your case.
Slight Amount of Decay
While the decay may look bad and there is pain when you try to chew on that side of your mouth, the amount of decay is manageable. Our dentist will assess the amount of damage and then talk with you about your options. Since a dental filling can last for over a decade, it will be a long time before you have any more problems with the tooth.
The decay has more of an effect on your breath and the look of the teeth than anything else. You don’t experience discomfort that seems to come from deep within the tooth. If you did, that would indicate some damage has occurred to the tooth root. With the latter scenario, the tooth would have to be extracted and replaced.
No Swelling Around the Gum
Did you know that the dentist will check the gum line underneath the tooth before making a recommendation? The goal is to determine if there is any swelling or discoloration present. If so, that could indicate that the problem goes beyond tooth decay. It could mean an infection has set up underneath the tooth, or that the decay is deeper than suspected.
Fortunately, X-rays will determine if there are any complications that would make procedures other than a dental filling a better fit for you. Once those are done and there’s no apparent damage other then the decay, the dental filling treatment can proceed.
The Tooth Doesn’t Have Other Problems
The integrity of the tooth itself will also determine what sort of treatment the dentist will recommend. For example, is the tooth stable? If it seems to be a little loose, choosing to extract and replace it now might save time and money in the long run.