A filling is a dental procedure that is used to treat damaged or decayed teeth. The process involves removing the decayed part of the tooth (or teeth) and then filling up the area with a dental filling material. The purpose of a dental filling is to restore the normal function and shape of an affected tooth so that the patient doesn’t have to deal with discomfort or pain. If you are suffering from discomfort that you believe may be a cavity and want us to look so it can be treated, just get in touch with Mor Smiles. Our professionals are always available to help you.
What Are the Benefits of Fillings?
Aside from preventing further damage to the already decayed tooth, a filling can also stop the bacteria that cause serious infections from entering the space within the tooth. Without a dental filling, the cavity might cause further damage to nearby healthy teeth. Fillings prevent teeth from cracking and chipping. You simply can’t keep a gaping hole in your tooth after the decayed and decomposed parts have been removed. A gaping hole in a tooth will reduce that tooth's structural integrity, and it could become a hotbed for infection and need to be extracted. Moreover, a raw and exposed cavity can affect the inner nerves, causing significant discomfort in most cases. Fortunately, the full functionality of the tooth can easily be restored by filling up the hole.
How Are the Fillings Performed?
First, a local anesthetic is usually used to numb the area around the affected tooth. In the next step, either a laser, an air abrasion instrument, or a drill is used to remove decayed parts. The instrument is chosen after assessing the extent of the damage. However, some other factors can also be taken into consideration.
Once the damaged parts are removed, the tooth will be cleaned to get rid of debris and bacteria. However, if the cavity has spread to the root, a line made from composite resin and glass ionomer might be applied on the tooth to protect the nerve if a root canal is not needed. Later, the filling material will be applied in layers. Once all the layers begin to harden, the filling will be given a proper shape so it matches the original tooth.
Which Type of Filling Is Best?
The type of material we use depends on different factors. It can include factors such as the extent of the damage, cost, location of the filling, your preferences, and more. Porcelain, tooth-colored composite, amalgam, and gold are some of the most popular choices that are widely used as fillers.
Tooth-colored composite is quite popular as it can match the color of the existing teeth. It also gets attached to the existing structure of the teeth micro-mechanically and thus provides greater structural support. Silver fillings (amalgams) on the other hand can withstand impacts, stand the test of time and can last ten to fifteen years, at the very least. Unlike tooth-colored composite, silver fillings (amalgam) are not that expensive.
Cast gold fillings do not erode that quickly and can also last ten to fifteen years. They can withstand wear and tear, and they have an unmistakable aesthetic appeal. However, gold is extremely expensive. Unlike all the others, ceramic fillings are highly resistant to staining and can easily last more than fifteen years.
How Do I Know if I Need a Filling?
Not all cavities need a filling. The surfaces of all teeth will need to be examined very carefully before coming to a conclusion. If anything unusual is spotted, you might be asked to do a mouth x-ray so as to get a clear understanding of the problem. Based on the outcome of that x-ray, our professionals might ask you to schedule or sit for a filling.
If you want to know more about dental fillings or want to know how we do them here at Mor Smiles, just give us a call at 223-258-5088 now!