When a tooth becomes worn down, cracked, or even broken, it may require a more permanent solution. A dental filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to normal.
The most common use of tooth fillings is to fill a cavity in the tooth. But tooth fillings also can be used to repair damage to teeth caused by teeth grinding or to replace part of a broken tooth.
During the dental filling treatment, the damaged tooth material is removed, the area is cleaned, and then the cavity is filled with a tooth filling. This will allow the tooth to operate as it normally would, but pain-free and protected from bacteria.
What are the types of dental fillings?
If a tooth is decayed or damaged, it’s important to get the tooth filled in order to prevent further decay to the tooth. Every dentist office is different in the dental fillings materials that they use. Some dental practices use porcelain or tooth-colored fillings, and some use an amalgam, which is an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin, and zinc.
- Porcelain fillings, or inlays and onlays, can be matched to the color of the tooth and resist staining. A porcelain restoration covers most of the tooth.
- Tooth-colored fillings are matched to be the same color as your teeth so that your fillings look natural.
- Amalgam fillings are dark in color and are more noticeable than porcelain or the tooth-colored fillings.
It is important to ask the dental professional at your office which filling material they use so that you can be prepared for what your tooth will look like post-treatment.
Cavity Tooth Filling Treatment
When you’re getting a cavity filled, expect to be at your Whittaker Dental office for an hour or so. This gives our dental professionals enough time to take x-rays if needed, talk to you about the procedure and complete the dental work at hand. Before filling cavities, your dentist will numb your teeth, gums and surrounding skin to avoid and lessen discomfort during the procedure. Next, they will drill out the decay in the tooth and replace it with a filling material.
Once you’re done, your mouth will likely remain numb for a few more hours. There aren’t any significant risks associated with filling cavities, but contact your Whittaker Dental office should any questions or complications arise.