Dental fillings are used to restore damaged teeth back to their normal shape and function. There are many types of fillings, and the one you require will depend on the problem you need fixed, the location and extent of that problem, cost, and personal preference. Whatever your reason for needing a filling, Lincoln Smiles can help.
What Is A Filling and Why Do I Need One?
Dental fillings can serve various purposes, such as to repair teeth damaged from grinding your teeth or biting your nails, or broken teeth. Fillings are also used to repair or replace existing fillings that have become infected or damaged. Most commonly, however, fillings are regarded as the solution to cavities.
Cavities, also called caries, occur when tooth decay breaks through the tooth’s hard surface and develops into tiny holes or pits. While there are many reasons that cavities form, poor oral hygiene and an unhealthy diet are among the most common.
Some cavities, depending on their location and extent, aren’t troublesome in the beginning and you may not even know you have one. As the decay worsens, though, you may experience signs and symptoms such as toothache, tooth sensitivity, and pain when you bite down.
It is important to detect and treat any weakened or damaged teeth to prevent further problems from developing. If tooth damage is not found and corrected, the condition may worsen which will likely lead to greater discomfort, cost, and time later on. Infection, tooth loss, and gum disease, for example, can occur.
The type of filling you need depends on the type of damage as well as the location and extent of the damage to be repaired. The makeup of fillings can consist of several different materials. Fillings are generally made of one or a combination of the following: amalgam, or silver, which are dark in color and therefore more noticeable than other types; gold, which are equally if not more noticeable, long-lasting but at the same time expensive and require multiple visits; composite resins, which can be adjusted to match the shade of your teeth, but are susceptible to staining from such things as coffee, wine, and other acidic or damaging food or drinks; or alloy metals to provide long-lasting results. Other filling materials include ceramic, porcelain, and glass ionomer. Your filling needs are determined by your unique situation.
To avoid needing a filling, proper oral hygiene practices are vital. Be sure to brush thoroughly with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. Also, attend routine dental examinations and cleanings to maintain healthy teeth and gums. A healthy diet along with minimal sugary or acidic foods and drinks go a long way in reducing the need for fillings as well.
What Can I Expect When Getting A Cavity Filled?
While you recline comfortably in our dental chair, we will first inject a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. Once we are sure the area around the tooth is numb, we will use a small dental drill to cut through the tooth to the affected part. Decay is removed using the drill, and the newly empty area is then prepared for the filling by cleaning it of any bacteria or debris. The next steps are determined by the type of filling we are using, but in general, we then layer the cleaned-out cavity with the appropriate filling material. We will then evaluate your bite and file the filling for comfort.
Your reason for needing a filling is as important as receiving friendly, professional service in a welcoming environment. Allow our experts at Lincoln Smiles to meet your dental filling needs. Call us at 916-543-8800 today to schedule an appointment.