The occurrence of cavities is sometimes not entirely controllable and the effects are already irreversible. Here at Southern Dental , we don’t leave our patients hopeless. We offer a wide range of services to provide solution to your oral health problems.
If you are worried about a damaged tooth, Southern Dental can help you bring it back to its normal function and shape through filling. Filling is a method to restore a damaged or decayed tooth. When a dentist performs filling, he needs to clean the affected area and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. The open spaces need to be filled in because these are the areas where the bacteria can enter. Filling helps prevention of tooth decay. Materials used for fillings include gold, porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and an amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).
What steps are available in filling the tooth?
The first step the dentist will do is to numb the area around the tooth to be filled in with the use of a local anesthesia. Next, the decayed area will be removed with the use of a drill, air abrasion instrument or laser. Once the dentist determines that the area is free of all decay, the dentist will prepare the space by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris. Then he will be filling in the clean space and finish and polish it.
After a filling, some people tend to feel sensitivity. The tooth may be sensitive to pressure, air, sweet foods or cold. The most common reason for feeling pain after the anesthesia wears off is that the filling is too high. If this happens, you can contact your dentist as soon as possible to adjust or reduce the height of the filling. There is also another type of discomfort felt which is called galvanic shock. This is a very sharp shock that is felt only when your teeth touch. This is caused by two metals touching and producing an electric current in your mouth.
In most cases, sensitivity will only last for over one week to two weeks. If it lasts more than that, it is important to let your dentist know. He will also have to be aware so that the next time you need a filling, he may be able to use a different material to reduce sensitivity.
What types of materials are used?
The type of filling to be used is determined by the extent of the repair and whether you have allergies for certain materials and where in your mouth the filling is needed. The following are the considerations for different materials used:
- Gold fillings are made to order in a laboratory and then cemented into place. Gold inlays are well tolerated by gum tissues, and may last more than 20 years. For these reasons, many authorities consider gold the best filling material. However, it is often the most expensive choice and requires multiple visits.
- Amalgam (silver) fillings are resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. However, due to their dark color, they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not usually used in very visible areas, such as front teeth.
- Composite (plastic) resins are matched to be the same color as your teeth and therefore used where a natural appearance is desired. The ingredients are mixed and placed directly into the cavity, where they harden. Composites may not be the ideal material for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco, and do not last as long as other types of fillings generally from three to 10 years.
- Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are produced to order in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth and resist staining. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth. Their cost is similar to gold.
What are the reasons for needing a filling?
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Teeth that are worn due to nail biting, tooth grinding, and using your teeth to open things
If you have a teeth condition that you think need filling in, Southern Dental is the best place to go. Contact our office, we are more than glad to help you.