Dental fillings are used to repair teeth that have been damaged due to decay or abuse. Fillings come in many different types and can be made of metal, plastic, glass or other substances. The most common use for fillings is to replace a tooth that has been removed because it was decayed – this is called a cavity.
First, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Then, they will use the appropriate tool to remove decay: air abrasion, laser, or drill. The choice of instrument depends on training and investment in equipment as well as what is best for the patient.
Next, your dentist will probe or test the area to determine if all the decay has been removed. Once the decay has been removed, your dentist will prepare the space for a filling by cleaning out any bacteria and debris from the cavity. If the decay is near a nerve, your dentist may first put in a liner made of glass ionomer, composite resin to protect it.
Several steps are required for tooth-colored fillings. First, your dentist will remove the decay and clean the area. Then he or she will apply a layer of tooth-colored material to the tooth. A special light that hardens each layer is then applied. The multilayering process may be repeated until a desirable result is reached, at which time your dentist will trim any and all excess material.
Types of Material/Colors
There are different kinds of decay, and each requires a different method to restore the tooth. The location and extent of the decay, cost of filling material, your insurance coverage, and your dentist’s recommendation help determine which type of filling will best address your needs. Here are some of the types
- Silver Dental Fillings (Amalgams)
- Cast Gold Dental Fillings
- Tooth Colored Dental Fillings
- Porceline Fillings
- Sometimes other materials
Caring for A Dental Filling
You want to make sure your dental fillings last. It’s important to take care of them just like you would take care of your own teeth without them. Luckily, you don’t need to be left in the dark. Here is how to care for your dental fillings:
- Brush and floss throuroughly at least twice a day
- Stay away from sticky, sugary candy and snacks
- Rinse your mouth daily with an alcohol-free, therapeutic mouthrinse to reduce bacteria and retail oral health
- Refrain from usinf tabaco or foods/drinks that can stain
- When given the option between soda and water, opt for water.
- Do not chew ice
- Most Importantly, see your dentist every six months for a check-up and cleaning
If your looking to get dental fillings, our experienced dentist is available to provide you with a thorough dental exam. If you have any questions at all, schedule an appointment with us for more information. We look forward to working with you!