Fillings are a common dental treatment used when you have a cavity or other tooth decay. It is important to take care of these issues quickly so that you do not experience further tooth decay or other infections. Fillings help to protect your teeth and restore function that you may have lost through having these conditions. Summit Dental Group has a variety of filling types available. Our dental professionals can guide you through the pros and cons of each and help you make the best decision for yourself.
The Importance of Fillings
People get fillings for several different reasons. Aesthetically, they can make your teeth look more normal after tooth decay. Depending on the type of filling you get, the material used can blend with your teeth and be completely unnoticeable after the process is finished.
There are also medical reasons why you would want to get a filling. Cavities and tooth decay can cause pain and infections that are difficult to manage. Fillings can help alleviate these symptoms by covering exposed areas. The exposed nerves and tissues can be very sensitive and fillings protect them from contact with drinks, food, and other materials. In addition, fillings also help to prevent further damage or infection by blocking bacteria from getting into these vulnerable areas.
As you can imagine, having tooth decay can affect the functionality of your teeth. Depending on the severity, this can affect everyday activities like eating, drinking, breathing through the mouth, and even talking. Fillings can take away the pain associated with tooth decay as well as restore the functionality in your mouth, letting you return to your normal activities.
Types of Fillings
There are several different materials that can be used for dental fillings. Each of these has pros and cons and your dentist will be able to explain them in more detail. The amount of time your filling lasts will depend on the material. Your dentist can explain these differences to you as well.
The five main types of fillings are composite, amalgam, gold, ceramic, and glass ionomer. Composite fillings are made of plastic and fine glass particles. These match the color of your teeth and bind directly to them. Amalgam is a mixture of silver and mercury. This does not match your tooth color, but it is very durable. Gold fillings do not match your teeth and are typically the most expensive, but they are the most durable. Ceramic, or porcelain, fillings match your teeth and are resistant to staining, but they tend to be expensive and more brittle than other types. Glass ionomer is made from acrylic and fluoroaluminosilicate (found in glass). This does not perfectly match your teeth, but it is much less noticeable than amalgam and gold. It is very durable and is often used for more severe tooth decay.
The filling process takes about an hour, but this depends on the severity. Your dentist may need to get x-rays or administer anesthesia , but this also depends on the severity and complexity of the procedure. Once you are numb (most people require anesthesia), your dentist will drill out any remaining tooth decay to ensure that all bacteria and infection is removed. We will then fill the cavity with a filling material. Different materials will take different amounts of time to set and may require different after-care procedures. It is important to follow all instructions given to you by your dentist. To schedule a filling, contact Summit Dental Group today.