What to Expect When Dental Fillings Are Needed?
What Are Dental Fillings?
They are oral materials that repair and restore diseased and damaged teeth. Dental fillings feature various materials that can replace the damaged portion of a tooth’s structure. Ideally, dental filling materials can either be metal-based or non-metal. You choose the type of dental filling you want depending on your preferences since they are all effective for repairing damaged teeth.
When Do You Need Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings near you are not for use on every occasion. Your dentist must comprehensively examine your tooth to determine whether or not you need a dental filling. Typically, dentists will employ dental fillings in South Lake Tahoe, CA, when the level of damage is not significant enough to necessitate a dental crown. Some of the conditions that require dental fillings are:
- Dental cavities – the most common use of dental fillings in dentistry is treating dental cavities. A Tahoe family dentist will use a filling if the degree of decay is not too significant to necessitate tooth removal.
- After a root canal procedure – a root canal treats the insides of your tooth to remove bacteria and damaged soft tissues. After treatment, your dentist will place a dental filling over the tooth to seal and fill it, preventing future re-entry of bacteria.
- A toothache – if you have a dull or sharp persistent pain in your tooth, you need a restorative treatment with dental fillings.
- A sensitive tooth – a dentist can recommend an endodontic procedure or oral filling to treat a sensitive tooth.
Expectations When Getting Dental Fillings
The process of getting a tooth filling can prove invasive due to the initial condition of your natural tooth. Therefore, the first step of your treatment entails numbing your mouth with local anesthesia. It will make the rest of your treatment painless.
After numbing, the dentist begins your treatment by drilling the tooth. The goal is to remove all damaged parts, leaving only a healthy tooth structure. (S)he will use a cavity detector tool to check any residual cavity that may remain after drilling. Once clear, the next step entails filling the tooth with a material of choice. The process will involve a laser to harden the material and bond it to your natural tooth.
In some cases, a dentist may recommend placing a dental crown over the tooth. It is typical if the size of the dental filling is too big that it may weaken the tooth structure.
Types of Dental Fillings You Can Have
At Tahoe Dentist, we offer different types of dental fillings, both metal and non-metal. They include the following:
- Gold fillings – they feature gold as the primary material. These dental fillings are very sturdy, making them ideal for restoring molars. However, due to the cost of gold, the fillings can be very costly.
- Silver fillings – also known as amalgams. They have been the most common dental fillings used for many years in dentistry. They feature a metal alloy with silver as the primary material. Amalgams also make for sturdy fillings and are significantly less expensive than gold fillings. However, the general appearance of amalgams is unsightly, becoming a limitation for conservative patients.
- Composite fillings – also called white fillings. They are quickly gaining popularity in modern dentistry, providing aesthetically pleasing alternatives to metal fillings. Composite fillings feature a tooth-colored composite resin that can match your natural teeth’s color. It makes them suitable for restoring the front teeth without worrying about your teeth’ aesthetics when you smile. Besides, they are also very affordable compared to the cost of gold composites. These dental fillings, however, are not as sturdy as their counterparts. They are susceptible to breakage, lasting half the time the other dental fillings last.
- Porcelain fillings – are aesthetically pleasing alternatives to composite fillings. They feature a sturdy tooth-colored porcelain material that is suitable even for replacing molars. Typically, porcelain fillings are indirect restorations that must be prepared in a dental laboratory before installation. The dental work involved in preparation makes these fillings quite expensive, similar to the cost of gold fillings.
- Glass ionomers – are commonly referred to as dental sealants in preventive dentistry. They are typically for preventing dental damage before it occurs. These feature acrylic and are uniquely packed with fluoride minerals to strengthen teeth and increase their resistance to dental cavities.