Dental fillings are a common restorative procedure designed to combat tooth decay and cavities. When a tooth becomes damaged by decay, a dentist removes the decayed part and “fills” the space with suitable filling material, hence the term “dental filling.”
At Edwards Family Dental in Dublin, OH, we specialize in providing a wide range of dental services, including dental fillings. Our experienced dentists and their team are committed to helping you maintain optimal oral health by treating cavities promptly and effectively using high-quality filling materials.
What Are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are materials used to fill cavities and repair minor tooth damage. They play a crucial role in restoring the structure and function of teeth compromised by tooth decay. A dental filling can be used to protect and preserve the remaining tooth enamel, guarding against additional tooth decay.
Typically, the dentist first removes the decay-causing bacteria and the damaged tooth structure. Then, the dentist shapes the tooth, prepares it for the filling, and applies the filling material. Dental fillings not only stop the progression of cavities but also prevent further decay by sealing off spaces where bacteria can enter. They are an essential part of dental care and oral hygiene that helps preserve your natural teeth and ensure your mouth stays healthy. A dental filling could also reduce your chances of needing a root canal later.
Types of Dental Filling Materials
There are several types of fillings, each with its advantages and disadvantages. At Edwards Family Dental, we help patients understand their options and make informed decisions about their oral health.
One of the most common types of fillings is amalgam or silver amalgam filling. Amalgam fillings are made from a mixture of metals, including silver, mercury, tin, and copper. They are known for their durability and cost-effectiveness. However, their silver-colored appearance makes them less aesthetically pleasing than tooth-colored fillings.
Composite fillings, also known as tooth-colored fillings or composite resin fillings, are made from a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture. They blend in with the natural color of your teeth and provide good durability for small to medium cavities.
Other types of fillings include gold fillings and porcelain fillings, also known as inlays or onlays. Gold fillings, often paired with a gold crown, are durable and offer a unique aesthetic. However, they are more expensive and require multiple visits. Porcelain fillings are hard, resist staining, and can match the color of your natural tooth.
What Steps Are Involved in Filling a Tooth?
The process of filling a tooth involves several steps:
- Evaluation: We may take x-rays during the first visit and apply a temporary filling to protect the tooth and ensure we have not overlooked any other oral health issues.
- Local Anesthesia: The dentist first applies a local anesthetic to numb the area around the decayed tooth.
- Removal of Decay: The decayed portion of the tooth is carefully removed, and the area is cleaned.
- Application of Liner: If the decay is near the root, the dentist may apply a liner, such as glass ionomer, to protect the nerve.
- Placement of Filling Material: The chosen filling material is then placed in layers and hardened with a special light.
- Shaping and Polishing: Once the filling is placed, the dentist will shape the filling to match the shape of the tooth and polish it to prevent staining and early wear.
Remember, regular check-ups are important to ensure your fillings stay in good condition and continue to protect your teeth.
How Should I Care for My Teeth With Fillings?
Proper care of teeth with fillings is similar to regular dental hygiene. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to keep the filled tooth and gums clean.
Try to avoid sweet foods and drinks that can lead to decay. Also, consider using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth if you experience tooth sensitivity following the filling procedure. Regular dental visits are essential so your dentist can check the condition of the filling and your overall oral health.
Furthermore, be aware that all fillings wear out over time and may need to be replaced. Regular check-ups allow your dentist to monitor the lifespan of your fillings and recommend a replacement when necessary.
Trust Edwards Family Dental for Dental Fillings
At Edwards Family Dental, we believe in providing quality dental care that keeps your smile healthy and confident. Our dentistry team is skilled in performing filling procedures with precision and care. If you suspect you have a cavity or require a dental filling, contact us today. Together, we can protect your beautiful smile from decay and ensure your teeth remain strong and healthy with a durable, solid, and comprehensive restoration.