A filling is a dental restorative treatment for damaged and decayed teeth. A filling, as the name sounds, fills a decayed part of the tooth to restore appearance and function and avert any further damage to the tooth. A dental filling is one of the most frequent procedures we perform. To examine if you require a dental filling, the dentist takes an examination of your teeth visually and uses x-rays. The dentist assesses for discolorations, visible caries, tooth sensitivity, and other tooth surface anomalies. A treatment plan is then drawn from the exam results. Visit us at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS.
Most Preferred Dental Filling Types
Gold fillings are by far the strongest, but also most expensive. They are primarily custom-made and then cemented on the tooth's surface. They are tolerated well by the gums and oral tissues and can last for more than two decades without tarnishing. It takes a few visits to the dentist to have a gold filling implanted, and a temporary filling may be used in the meantime. Silver amalgam fillings are another type that is resistant to damage and wear. They are a mixture of a silver alloy, mercury, and other metals like copper and tin.
They are, however, most preferred for teeth in the back of the mouth because of their dark shade.
Composite fillings are tooth-colored but not as durable as silver or gold fillings. They are composed of resin, a ceramic matter that matches the color of the teeth. A beam is shone over them during their installation to harden them into place. These are the most preferred by our patients, as they blend in the most with natural teeth.
Glass ionomer fillings are tolerated well by the gums as they link to the tooth. They are somewhat weaker than other fillings. They are mainly used on tooth surfaces that do not endure biting forces and mostly on children's teeth. They resist staining better than ceramic filings and are favorably used to cover most tooth surfaces. The installation is pretty easy as the filling links easily to the tooth. Porcelain fillings provide the best tooth shade to your natural teeth and are custom-made in the lab.
Procedure for Fillings
The dentist first examines your mouth during a filling procedure and performs a prophylaxis cleaning to ready the site. You will be on anesthesia or sedation to numb the site and provide ease. Next, the dentist will drill the area around the cavity, cutting through the enamel down to the dentin to remove decayed debris. The site is then rinsed off, and a baselining is placed on the drilled area to protect the tooth's pulp. For bonded fillings, the tooth is first etched, and the related material is put in the cavity to help the filling bond with the tooth's dentin better. Most bonded fillings also require a beam to harden it into place after every interval of filling. The dentist then buffs and polishes the tooth surface to remove any sharp corners.
After a filling procedure, it is likely to feel sensitive, but it fades away after some time. Feeling overly sensitive, or pain, while biting down might mean that the filling is too protruded and can be corrected at your follow-up appointment. Patients are advised to take care of their filled teeth like the rest of their natural teeth. Daily brushing and flossing and regular dental cleanings help preserve your teeth and fillings. Visit us at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS or book an appointment with us via (346) 250-2930.