Dental fillings are one of the most common dentistry treatments that we at Thomas Family Dentistry carry out. Used to restore a tooth’s health and appearance, they are an essential part of restorative dental care, keeping mouths functional and smiles beautiful.
Why Do I Need a Tooth Filling?
Trauma caused by accident, or habits such as teeth grinding, may all be responsible for damaging teeth. Cracked, chipped, broken, and worn-down teeth can be repaired with a dental filling that keeps the tooth healthy, restoring function, and its natural appearance.
However, fillings are primarily used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. Our teeth are under constant attack as sugary, starchy food and drinks make a sticky coating on the teeth. Food particles will stick to the teeth providing an ideal energy source for acid-producing bacteria to thrive and multiply. The acid produced by the bacteria is harmful to teeth, breaking down tooth enamel and leading to decay, which not only looks unsightly but may lead to a larger problem at a later stage.
What Symptoms May Indicate a Tooth Filling Is Needed?
Tooth decay or damage to the tooth does not necessarily lead to pain, but some of the signs to look out for include: toothache, tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking something hot or cold, bad breath, spots of discoloration on your teeth and/or an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
What Is the Procedure for a Filling?
A local anesthetic is typically used by the dentist to numb the area around the tooth that needs the filling. If there are decayed areas, the dentist will remove them using a drill, laser, or air abrasion. Next, the tooth will be prepared for the filling by cleaning the tooth, removing debris, and bacteria. The filling material is applied, allowed to harden for a few moments, before the dentist shapes and polishes the filling to complete your tooth’s restoration.
Is it Possible to Choose the Material For My Filling?
Gone are the days when the only choice of material for a filling was silver-colored amalgam. Modern dental fillings are available in a variety of materials, including gold and tooth-colored fillings made from composite resin or porcelain.
Not every material is suitable for every type of filling, as durability and strength is usually the primary factor to take into account. The size of the filling, its position on the tooth, and how much force is exerted on it from chewing are significant elements that you can discuss with the dentist to help you choose the best option.
There are also other considerations to contemplate before you make the decision about the material. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages - some of which may be more important to you than others, for example, durability and/or cost.
Will I Need to Replace A Filling?
Dental fillings withstand a lot of stress and do not last forever. Gold and amalgam are among the most durable materials and glass ionomers among the least. With the right dental health care regime of brushing and flossing twice daily, plus regular visits to the dentist, fillings last between 5 and 20 years.
Find out more about the services we offer at Thomas Family Dentistry, or book an appointment with one of our dentists if you need a dental filling. Contact our office by calling 971-348-4244.