When a tooth gets damaged, immediate dental care is necessary to repair the tooth, minimize discomfort, and prevent further damage. For instance, a broken tooth can be painful, cause difficulties chewing, and even harm the nearby soft structures like the tongue and gums.
When dealing with tooth damage, whether from tooth decay, bruxism, or dental trauma, a dental filling is an ideal way to restore your tooth’s strength and shape. A filling can be used to address minor to average tooth decay and repair cracked, fractured, or worn-out teeth. For severe or complex teeth damage, restorative treatments such as dental crowns may be necessary.
To determine whether you’re a good candidate for a dental filling, you should consult your dentist for an exam. The dentist will inspect your teeth and mouth and determine the best solution for your problem. If you have been scheduled for a filling procedure, this article covers what to expect from the treatment.
Getting a dental filling is typically a standard dental procedure that requires a single appointment at the dental office. It seeks to remove decay or infection in a tooth and close off any spaces where bacteria can enter and cause further damage.
The dentist begins the filling process by examining the teeth to investigate the problematic areas. If necessary, an X-ray may be used to provide more precise details about your tooth’s condition.
Next, the dentist uses a local anesthetic to numb the site around the damaged tooth.
The dentist then uses a laser or a drill to get to the tooth damage. All decayed or infected tissues are removed. The tooth is cleaned and disinfected to eradicate any remaining debris and bacteria.
Next, tooth-colored material is applied to the tooth in layers, and a special light is used to harden the filling. Lastly, the dentist trims off any excess fillers and polishes the tooth to ensure a natural appearance.
A filling eliminates the pain, sensitivity, swelling, and other side effects of having a decayed or damaged tooth. A filling also restores your smile by restoring the tooth’s shape and size, allowing you to smile with confidence. Moreover, it improves a tooth’s strength, improving your ability to bite and chew properly.
There are several materials to select from when getting a filling. The ideal material depends on your preferences, tooth’s location, budget, and severity of the condition.
Remember that each material comes with advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, you should ask for your dentist’s recommendation. Common materials for dental fillings include:
Tooth-colored fillings can be made from composite resin, porcelain (ceramic fillings), and glass ionomer. Thanks to their tooth-looking shade or color, these fillings are ideal for front teeth restorations or repairing visible parts of the tooth.
Depending on the materials used, these fillings can last for 5 to 15 years. Ceramic fillings are the most durable, followed by composite fillings, and lastly, glass ionomer. For this reason, ceramic fillings tend to be more expensive.
Cast Gold Fillings
If you’re concerned about the strength and durability of the filling, cast gold fillings are the best. Due to their strength and golden color, these fillings are suitable for back teeth restorations. With proper dental care and habits, these fillings can last for up to 15 years or more.
When it comes to budget, cast gold fillings are expensive. They cost almost 10 times higher than silver amalgam fillings. Another downside is that you’ll need at least two appointments to get the fillings. Furthermore, not everyone likes metal or goldish color.
Silver or Amalgam Fillings
Like gold fillings, silver fillings are durable and sturdy enough to withstand chewing forces. Therefore, they are best suited for back teeth restorations. With proper care, silver fillings can last for about 10-15 years. They are also less expensive than composite and ceramic fillings.
The major downside with these fillings is that they don’t match your natural teeth color. Also, more tooth shaving is required to fit the filling. The fact that amalgam has mercury can cause allergies. Lastly, these fillings can create a grayish hue to the surrounding teeth structure.
These filings are created from bio-compatible materials such as tooth-colored composite resin.
Are you looking for tooth filling services near you, or would you like more information about dental fillings? Contact Dental Arts of Plymouth to book your appointment today.