Dental fillings are a way to restore the natural tooth from decay or erosion. When a tooth has decayed parts on or in it, the dentist will remove the decay and fill the missing part to ensure that the natural tooth won’t rot away completely. Dental fillings are really a great choice for patients who are seeking healthy teeth again.
Receiving dental fillings is not a very involved procedure, but there are still important things to know about them. Knowing what steps are taken during a procedure can aid in calming the nerves of a patient. Being aware of what the filling is actually made of can be informal for patients as well.
Dental fillings procedures
Any dental procedure can be scary at first, but being aware of each step that the dentist will take should help avoid any anxiety that may come with receiving a filling.
A numbing agent will be used for the tooth and the surrounding area to avoid discomfort for the patient. The numbing agent that is used may be determined by the dentist based on how intense the cavity is.
The dentist will then use a laser or drill to remove the decayed area of the tooth (otherwise known as the cavity). While this does sound painful, the numbing agent will ensure that the pain is kept to a minimum. As with the numbing agent, the tool used by the dentist for removal will be based upon the severity of the decay as well as the dentist’s preference.
Upon removing all of the decayed parts of the tooth, the dentist will carefully inspect the empty area for any additional decay. It’s important that the dentist does not miss a spot or else any remaining decayed spots could spread, leading to rotting.
Right before the filling is then put into the empty area, the dentist will be sure to properly clean the area where the filling will go. It’s important that the area that is to be filled is completely sterile without any bacteria or debris from the decay. A proper cleaning ensures that the remaining parts of the tooth stay healthy.
Lastly, the dentist will fill the tooth with the desired filling. A curing light will be used to harden each layer that was put into the space, thus ensuring that a proper seal is done on the filling.
Having an unnatural filling be put into a natural tooth can be a scary thought. Knowing what types of materials the fillings can be made out of, will help assure that nothing harmful will be put into the teeth.
Amalgam is known to be one of the most common filling materials. It is made up of different metals that are durable and long lasting. They are on the lower cost side for dental fillings, so that is an attractive aspect of them, as well. However, they do typically come in a silver metal color that may not appeal to some.
Composite fillings have become more and more popular, mainly because they match the natural tooth color. However, the composite fillings are not as durable as that of metal based ones. The powdered glass and resin build doesn’t last too long and they tend to need to be replaced within a short time period.
Gold and porcelain
Gold and porcelain-based fillings tend to both be extremely durable. They are on the more costly side of the spectrum but can be viewed as worth it. Both gold and porcelain fillings are indirect fillings, which means that the patient will have to visit the dentist more than once. While gold doesn’t match the natural tooth color, the durability is what pays off. The porcelain fillings will match the natural tooth color but can be very fragile.
Dental fillings can be a great save to teeth that are decaying from cavities or improper care but being aware of everything that is involved with getting fillings is important. The materials that make up dental fillings could be viewed as harsh materials, but they are doing the job of restoring the teeth back to a healthy state.
If you still have questions about dental fillings, give us a call today! We’re available to assist in any way that we can.
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