What You Need to Know About Dental Fillings

What You Need to Know About Dental Fillings

Aug 02, 2021

Dental decay develops in several stages and the dentist may use different treatments based on the degree of damage. When you have mild decay that only affects the surface of the teeth, a dentist near you will recommend dental fillings.

What Are Dental Fillings?

Teeth fillings are restorations used to repair mildly decayed teeth. The fillings come in different materials and the dentist will choose a suitable one based on the type and location of the affected tooth and the extent of the decay.

Although decay is the primary reason why a dentist can use dental fillings near you, these restorations can also come in handy in correcting other problems. If you have worn-down teeth due to bruxism or teeth grinding, teeth filling may be an ideal solution.

Before the dentist determines which filling best works for you, he will first determine the severity of the decay, the location of the teeth (whether it is molars or canines), and the type of material that best works for you.

What Can You Expect At Your Teeth Filling Procedure?

The dentist will numb the gums with anesthesia before starting the filling process. Next, he will drill the teeth to remove the decayed parts of the teeth or the filling won’t be able to stick. The dentist may use an air abrasion tool, drill, or laser depending on the skill level, the location of the affected tooth, and the severity of the decay.

He will test the area to check if all the decayed parts have been removed, and then rinse the area to get rid of any debris. If the decay is close to the nerves, a glass ionomer can be used to shield against pain.

If the decay extends to the inner cavity, the dentist will first perform root canal therapy to get rid of the decayed part before fixing the filling.

After the place is thoroughly cleaned, the filling is fixed on the tooth. Sometimes, laser light is used to harden the restoration. The teeth are later polished for an attractive finished look.

A few additional steps may be carried out depending on the type of material you choose.

  • Multilayered filling. The resin filling is applied in layers to make it hard and strong enough that it does not chip. Laser light is then used to hardened each layer of resin as it is applied.
  • Shaping the filling. The dentist must shape the composite resin so that it can attain the right shape.

What Type of Dental Fillings Are Available?

Several types of materials are available that you can choose from. The different types include:

  • Amalgam fillings. These are the most commonly used fillings and it is made of mercury combined with various metals like gold, copper, and tin. There have been concerns about mercury content in these fillings. The American Dental Association, however, reports that the mercury levels are minimal. Also, the fillings can only be harmful if they are damaged. But, if you are concerned about the mercury content, you can choose the other fillings.
  • Gold fillings. These are made of gold alloy and they are the most durable. However, they are not aesthetically pleasing and as such, they are suitable for the back teeth. They are also expensive, but durable.
  • Tooth-colored composite. The resin material resembles your teeth and they can be reshaped and cured with laser light. They are durable and stain-resistant and can last for about ten years, before replacing.
  • Ceramic fillings. They are made of porcelain, which is also tooth-colored and resistant to stain. But, they can chip and crack if not taken care of properly.
  • Glass ionomer. The fillings are made of glass and acrylic, and they release fluoride into the teeth. Fluoride strengthens the teeth, and is a natural-cavity fighter, meaning it prevents and reverses mild decay.

How to Care for Teeth Fillings

Proper hygiene is important to maintain the state of the fillings. Getting regular assessments can also prevent chips and cracks on the restorations.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Mi Casa Dental for more information about teeth fillings and the procedure involved.