Over time, teeth can develop small cracks and fissures. When this happens, bacteria can enter the tooth structure and cause decay. A restorative procedure called a dental filling is typically used to repair the damage caused by tooth decay or injury.
The goal of a dental filling is to restore the tooth structure remaining around the damage, as well as to restore the function of the tooth. Once the tooth decay or damage has been removed, the filling material is used to fill the void.
Several different types of dental filling materials are available, each with its own set of benefits. The type we use is based on the location of the filling, the extent of the damage, and personal preference.
The most common dental fillings are:
Composite fillings, or tooth-colored fillings, are made of a composite resin material that is matched to the color of your natural teeth. They can be used on both the front and back teeth.
Amalgam fillings, also known as traditional fillings, are made of metals, including silver, tin, mercury, and copper. Dental amalgam fillings are durable and typically last 10 to 15 years. These fillings are usually only used for back teeth where they are less visible, because of their silver color.
Glass ionomer fillings are made of a glass material that is matched to the color of your teeth. They can be used on both the front and back teeth and are less visible than amalgam and composite fillings. These fillings are also less durable, so they may need to be replaced more often.
Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain and are matched to the color of your teeth. They are typically used on the front teeth. These fillings are more visible than glass ionomer fillings, but they are also more durable.
During your appointment, the dentist will first numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Then, they will remove the decay or damage from the tooth. Once the tooth is clean, they will apply the filling material and shape it to fit the tooth. Finally, they will polish the filling to match the rest of your teeth.
It’s normal to feel some pressure during the procedure, but you shouldn’t feel any pain.
Once your dental filling is in place, it’s important to take care of it so it lasts. A good oral hygiene routine and regular dental visits are essential. There are also additional steps you can take to ensure your filling lasts as long as possible!
Follow these tips to keep your filling in top shape:
It is important that you understand your treatment and feel comfortable throughout your appointment. If you have questions about the procedure or notice any problems with your filling, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. Our experienced team is happy to answer any questions you may have!
If you’re in need of a filling or other dental services in Columbus, GA, look no further than Southeastern Dental. We offer various filling options to suit your dental needs, and our team is here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!