By keeping regular dental appointments and an oral care regimen, most disease or inflammation of the mouth can be reduced or prevented. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen though, as many people can still get cavities. Even people who brush, floss, and go to the dentist regularly can get cavities or fractured teeth. If you need a restoration, our team at South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics can help remove decayed or cracked portions of the tooth and restore it to its full functionality with dental fillings.
WHAT ARE DENTAL FILLINGS?
Fillings are a restoration method used to repair teeth that have become damaged by decay or cracks. With a filling, we can bring the damaged tooth back to its full function. Many children and adults get cavities, causing the tooth to decay and lose function. Not only do our fillings improve the functionality of the tooth, but they also prevent future cavities from occurring. The filling uses a material that closes off spaces where bacteria could enter. There are different kinds of fillings used in many dental offices. Here at South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics, we use composite fillings. The composite material is tooth-colored so that it matches your teeth for an inconspicuous restoration. No one will know that you have a filling!
Composite resins provide durability while blending in with your natural teeth. To fill the teeth, the tooth needs to be clean and dry. Composite fillings help to repair decay, fractures, and larger fillings. These are bonded to the tooth with adhesive, which makes for a conservative repair. Much like natural teeth, the composite fillings can become stained or discolored over time. It’s very important to clean them and treat them like real teeth.
When you come into South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics for your filling appointment, your dentist will use an anesthetic to manage any discomfort. Then, your dentist will prepare the tooth for the filling by removing the decayed or cracked portion. Once the damaged part is removed, the tooth is etched and a desensitizer and disinfectant are applied. Then, a bonding component will be placed into the area for the composite material. This bonding adhesive assures that the filling will fully attach to the tooth. Once the tooth is completely prepared, the composite resin is placed into the space. Your dentist will then shape the tooth to fit the unique contours of your mouth. The filling will be hardened with a curing light so that it can withstand the pressure of the other teeth as well as any hard food. Some patients experience mild tooth sensitivity following their filling. This should resolve itself within a few days.
WHY DO I NEED A FILLING?
There are a variety of reasons that you may need to get a filling. These might include:
- Cracked teeth
- Broken teeth
- Worn down teeth
The most common reason that patients need a tooth filling is that they have extreme tooth decay from cavities. Some fractures of the teeth may be fixed using filling material. Often, teeth can become broken or worn from teeth grinding.
ARE YOU A CANDIDATE FOR A DENTAL FILLING?
If you feel that you may need a dental filling, seeing your dentist at South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics is the best way to know if this restoration method is best for you. Often, patients who are experiencing a cavity may see some discoloration and experience sensitivity. Your dentist will use several methods to determine if you have a cavity. The easiest way for our dental team to tell if you have a cavity is through observation. During an examination, they will use a dental instrument to feel for any possible decay on your teeth. If you have any decay, the enamel on your teeth will be softer than normal.
If the observation technique is ineffective for finding any tooth decay, they may use x-rays, cavity-detecting dye, or laser fluorescence cavity detection aids. Patients of any age can be a candidate for receiving a filling. Many adolescents receive fillings to prevent future decay.
SCHEDULE YOUR CONSULTATION
Have you been experiencing problems with your teeth? Discoloration or pain could be a sign of decay which can lead to loss of the tooth. To restore your teeth, we offer many restoration techniques like dental fillings. If you wish to learn more about dental fillings and your options, then come into South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics for a consultation. Call our office today or fill out an online form.
Dental Fillings FAQs
How long do dental fillings last?
Depending on the type of filling and the damage it’s seeking to correct, fillings can last many years, up to decades or more. However, they are not permanent.
How many types of tooth fillings are there?
The most common types of tooth fillings are gold, silver, and composite. At South Meadows Dental, we use composite fillings to most accurately match the color of your natural teeth.
What is the best tooth filling to get?
Different fillings have different benefits and there’s no “best” filling. What’s best for you will be determined after your examination by a dentist.
How many cavities can a dentist fill at once?
There’s no theoretical limit to the number of fillings a dentist can fill at once–what matters is how long the patient is comfortable keeping their mouth open and where in the mouth the cavities are.
Do all cavities need fillings?
Yes. Left untreated, cavities can cause more severe tooth decay, requiring root canal, crowns, or even removal.
Do fillings weaken teeth?
While fillings are designed to be durable, they are not as strong as your natural teeth. They are more susceptible to wear and tear, and may need to be replaced when they stop doing their job of sealing the cavity.