Fillings are one of the most common dental procedures that people undergo. They are used to restore decayed or damaged teeth and prevent further damage. If you are curious about fillings, this article will cover everything you need to know about the types of fillings, the procedure, and aftercare.
Types of Fillings
There are different types of fillings, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are the most common types:
Amalgam fillings are made of a mixture of metals, including mercury, silver, tin, and copper. They are durable, long-lasting, and cost-effective. However, some people are concerned about the mercury content in amalgam fillings.
Composite fillings are made of a mixture of plastic and glass materials. They are tooth-colored and blend in with the natural color of your teeth. They are also durable and long-lasting, but they are more expensive than amalgam fillings.
Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain or other ceramic materials. They are tooth-colored and blend in with the natural color of your teeth. They are also durable, long-lasting, and stain-resistant, but they are the most expensive type of filling.
Gold fillings are made of a mixture of gold and other metals. They are durable, long-lasting, and do not corrode. However, they are the most expensive type of filling and are not tooth-colored.
The procedure for getting a filling is simple and usually takes less than an hour. Here are the steps:
Your dentist will numb the area around the tooth with local anesthesia.
Removing the decay:
The dentist will use a drill or laser to remove the decayed portion of the tooth.
Cleaning the cavity:
The dentist will clean the cavity to remove any bacteria or debris.
Filling the cavity:
The dentist will fill the cavity with the chosen filling material and shape it to fit your bite.
The dentist will polish the filling to make it smooth and natural-looking.
After getting a filling, it is important to take care of your teeth to ensure the filling lasts as long as possible. Here are some tips:
- Avoid eating or drinking anything hot or cold for a few hours after the procedure.
- Brush and floss regularly to prevent decay and bacteria buildup.
- Avoid eating sticky or hard foods that could damage the filling.
- Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
How long do fillings last?
The lifespan of a filling depends on the type of filling, how well you take care of your teeth, and where the filling is located. Amalgam fillings can last up to 15 years, while composite fillings can last up to 10 years.
Can I get a filling if I have a cavity?
Yes, fillings are used to treat cavities and prevent further damage.
Will getting a filling hurt?
The procedure for getting a filling is generally painless, as your dentist will numb the area with local anesthesia.
Things To Note About Fillings
One important thing to note is that if you experience any discomfort or pain after getting a filling, it could be a sign of a problem. You should contact your dentist right away to have the filling checked and adjusted if needed.
Another factor to consider when getting a filling is the cost. The price of a filling can vary depending on the type of filling, the location of the tooth, and the dentist’s fees. It’s important to check with your dental insurance provider to see what portion of the cost they will cover.
It’s also worth noting that some people may have a metal allergy or sensitivity that could make certain types of fillings unsuitable for them. If you have concerns about this, you should discuss your options with your dentist.
In addition to fillings, there are other dental procedures that can be used to restore damaged or decayed teeth, such as dental crowns and bridges. Your dentist can help you determine the best treatment option for your specific situation.
Fillings are a common and effective way to restore damaged or decayed teeth. By understanding the different types of fillings, the procedure, and aftercare, you can be better prepared for this dental procedure. Remember to take care of your teeth after getting a filling to ensure it lasts as long as possible, and don’t hesitate to contact your dentist if you have any concerns or questions.