Dental fillings are used to replace natural tooth material that’s lost because of decay. They are made from special materials used to restore damaged or decayed teeth. Common materials used for fillings are amalgam (silver) or composite (white).
When a tooth suffers damage or decay, it becomes necessary to extract a part of it. This removal of the affected area contains the problem and prevents the decay from spreading to other regions of the tooth, which could lead to a severe infection.
Dental fillings are commonly recommended to address cracked, broken, or worn-down sections of the tooth. These fillings not only strengthen the damaged tooth’s structure, but they also contribute to the restoration of its appearance, thereby boosting our patients’ confidence in their smiles at the same time.
If you think you may need a dental filling, contact our dentists at Dental Choice for a consultation.
What are the Different
Types of Dental Fillings?
There are several types of dental fillings available, each with its own set of advantages and considerations.
Amalgam fillings – made of a mixture of metals including mercury, have been used for decades and are known for their durability and affordability.
Composite fillings – made of a tooth-colored resin, offer a more natural appearance but may be less durable in larger cavities.
Ceramic fillings – also tooth-colored, provide excellent aesthetics and are resistant to staining.
Glass ionomer fillings – are a mixture of glass and acrylic and release fluoride, making them suitable for children and root surface cavities.
Gold fillings – although less commonly used nowadays, are highly durable and well-tolerated by the gums.
Ultimately, the choice of filling material depends on factors such as the size and location of the cavity, aesthetic concerns, and the patient’s preferences. Consulting with a dentist is essential to determine the most suitable filling option for individual dental needs.
What is the
Dental Filling Procedure?
You can put your mind at ease when it comes to getting a filling. We have outlined the complete process below to provide you with a clear understanding of what to expect during your upcoming dental filling appointment.:
- They will apply a pre-numbing gel followed by a local anesthetic to numb the area surrounding the tooth.
- Using a dental drill, they will carefully remove the decayed portion of the tooth.
- The dentist will then place the filling material and use a special light to harden it.
- They will check your bite and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a comfortable fit.
- Finally, the dentist will polish the filling material, leaving it smooth and refined.
Have a damaged or decayed tooth you think may need a dental filling? Speak with our dental professionals today to schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Fillings
What is a dental filling?
What is the difference between a white filling and a silver filling?
Both types of fillings have the same job of restoring damaged or decayed teeth. White fillings are made up of a hard plastic material known as composite resin, with fillers that provide additional strength. A white filling is cured with a special light which means when your appointment is done, the filling is as hard as it will ever be. Silver fillings are made up of a compound of several different metals. Silver filling material is mixed just before placing it into the tooth and can take up to 24 hours to fully harden. Therefore we recommend not to eat anything sticky or chew on the side of the new filling during the curing time. Silver fillings in some cases might be recommended due to their durability over a white filling. Your dentist would be able to guide you to the best type of filling for your needs.
How long does a dental filling last?
Fillings are designed to last for years, but do eventually break down and need to be replaced. The mouth is a harsh environment where fillings are exposed to moisture, plaque bacteria, and pressure from biting and chewing. Over time, older fillings may eventually begin to leak, break, or fall out. These are common dental issues and may require emergency dental care if the exposed area of the tooth is sensitive or painful.
How do I take care of my filling?
Taking care of your dental fillings is easy. They require regular brushing and flossing at least twice a day – just like your natural teeth. You should also avoid eating foods that contain too much sugar, such as soda, as well as acidic and processed foods. Make sure you visit your dentist at least once every six months to check on the progress of your fillings.
How long does it take the dentist to apply a filling?
Applying a dental filling doesn’t normally require more than one session. Depending on the amount of decay and how many teeth are affected will influence the duration of the filling process. For our patients’ comfort, we often will limit how many fillings we do at a time.
How much does a dental filling cost?
White dental fillings are becoming the most common option in the treatment of cavities. Amalgam is another alternative that tends to cost less. However, many patients prefer white resin composites because they blend in more naturally, and some are concerned about the effects of metal amalgam on their health. Dental fillings save in the long run as they lower the risk of more costly procedures such as root canals, tooth extractions, and other restorative practices.
Like any dental procedure, there are a few factors that will determine the pricing of your filling. Your Dental Choice dentist will go over these with you ahead of time, but they could include:
- The condition of your smile
- The extent of the tooth decay
- The location of the damaged tooth
- Whether or not sedation is used
Are dental fillings noticeable or visible?
The visibility of a dental filling depends on the type of filling material used. Tooth-colored fillings (composite resin or ceramic) blend with the natural tooth color, making them virtually unnoticeable. Metal fillings may be slightly visible.
Can I replace my old metal fillings with tooth-colored fillings?
Yes, it is possible to replace old metal fillings with tooth-colored fillings for aesthetic reasons. However, the decision should be made in consultation with your dentist, who can assess the condition and suitability of the existing fillings.
Can I eat normally after getting a dental filling?
Yes, you can resume eating normally after getting a dental filling. However, it is advisable to avoid consuming very hot or hard foods immediately after the procedure to prevent any damage to the filling.
Is getting a dental filling painful?
Dentists typically use local anesthesia to numb the area being treated, so you should not experience pain during the procedure. However, some discomfort or sensitivity may be felt after the anesthesia wears off.
Speak With our Dentists to Learn More About Dental Fillings Today!
If you are concerned you may require a dental filling for your tooth, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dentists at Dental Choice today!