What Is a Dental Filling?
It is a restorative treatment that repairs and restores damaged teeth. Dental fillings feature different materials that can replace the damaged portion of the tooth enamel. A dental filling can feature gold, silver, composite, or porcelain materials.
Types of Dental Fillings
Dental fillings vary based on the material used to make them. The common types of dental fillings are:
- Amalgams – are metal-based fillings featuring a metal alloy of copper, zinc, aluminum, mercury, and silver. They are the most common types of dental fillings that have been used for many years in dentistry.
- Gold fillings – feature gold as the primary metal. They are sturdy, making them suitable for repairing back teeth.
- Composite fillings – are incredible alternatives to metal-based fillings. Composite fillings feature a tooth-colored resin that closely matches natural teeth. These fillings have become increasingly popular in modern dentistry by providing aesthetically pleasing alternatives to other dental fillings.
- Porcelain fillings – provide alternatives to tooth-colored composite fillings. Porcelain fillings are created into a single solid piece featuring tooth-colored porcelain. The material is sturdier than composites, and as durable as the metal-based counterparts.
- Glass ionomers – are dental fillings featuring acrylic. They are popular for preventive dental care, acting as dental sealants that protect teeth before damage occurs.
Why Are Dental Fillings Needed in Dentistry?
A dentist near you will not always recommend getting a dental filling. Instead, dental fillings in St. Pete Beach are ideal for repairing damaged teeth. Some of the instances that necessitate tooth filling procedures in Dental Arts – St. Pete Beach are:
- Treating dental cavities – when you have a tooth cavity, it leaves a hole in your tooth that allows bacteria to enter the inner layers. A dental filling repairs the damage by filling and sealing the hole.
- Protecting sensitive teeth – adults experience tooth sensitivity due to various factors, including enamel thinning. One of the ways to protect a sensitive tooth is by filling it with a tooth sealant.
- Covering a tooth after root canal treatment – a root canal procedure entails treating a diseased tooth by removing the damaged soft tissues from the inner layers. After the endodontic procedure, dentists typically cover the tooth with a dental filling. Its role is to seal the tooth, protecting the inner layers from the re-entry of bacteria that can result in re-infection.
- Restoring fractured teeth – a crack, chip, or break should not automatically necessitate tooth extraction. Some tooth fractures can be repaired using dental fillings.
Things to Note About Dental Fillings
Before any treatment by Dr. Cecilia Sorrell, you should gather as much information as possible regarding your procedure. Some of the things you should know about dental fillings are:
- Aesthetics should not be the only factor you prioritize – although you must consider the outcome of your treatment when you smile, there are other important factors. For instance, the sturdiness and durability of a dental filling should be a priority.
- Dental fillings are not tamper-proof – if you do not care for your tooth fillings properly, they can crack, break, or be dislodged. The outcome will be a damaged tooth filling that cannot protect your tooth adequately.
- Your teeth can still get damaged – dental fillings do not assure you of complete protection. The rest of your tooth can still incur damage in the future if you are not keen on proper dental care measures.
- Your teeth will be sensitive after treatment – the dental work done to repair the damaged tooth can leave your teeth feeling more sensitive than usual. However, the sensitivity should not last too long. It should resolve 1 to 3 days after your treatment.
How to Prepare for Dental Fillings
Preparing well is a big part of your treatment that can impact the outcome of your experience. Some tips to help you prepare for your procedure are:
- Eat beforehand – before the treatment starts, the dentist will numb your mouth. It may mean not eating for a while, even after your treatment, until numbing wears off. Therefore, eat before your treatment unless your dentist requires you to fast for your procedure.
- Inform your dentist if you have dental anxiety – the dentist may need to employ sedation dentistry for your treatment. In such a case, the dentist will recommend being accompanied by someone who can drive you home after your dental filling procedure.