Tooth decay occurs in all but one percent of the human population, so at some point in your life, you’ll probably fall victim to a cavity. Even people who practice diligent oral home care and attend checkups and cleanings like clockwork usually develop decay at some point. Sometimes, we find cavities so early that the patient is not aware the decay even existed. He may have experienced no pain or irritation in the afflicted tooth. The good news is, when we find and treat decay in its early stage, a small, topical filling may be all that’s required to restore oral health.
Types of Fillings
Traditionally, dental fillings were made of amalgam, a mix of metals in liquid form that is hardened once applied in a tooth. Amalgams are affordable and effective, but their dark color stands out against naturally white tooth enamel. If you prefer, we can place tooth-colored composite resin fillings, which contain no metal. Often, patients prefer white fillings on front teeth but don’t mind amalgam fillings on back teeth.
Placement of a Dental Filling
Expect a filling appointment to take about an hour or less, unless you’re scheduled for more than one procedure. If decay causes pain or penetrates the dentin of a tooth, the layer beneath enamel, we will use anesthetic to numb the affected tooth prior to treatment. Your comfort is priority to our team. To prepare your tooth for filling, we’ll remove all bacteria and decay from the tooth and sanitize the cavity. Then, the doctor will place either custom-shaded composite resin or dental amalgam, depending on which material you’ve selected. The filling material is applied in liquid form, so the doctor can shape it to fit properly against opposing teeth. A soft curing light hardens the liquid into a solid restoration. After checking your occlusion and making adjustments, we will polish the filling. The process is quick and simple!
How to Care for Your Fillings
If you practice good oral hygiene, brushing and flossing at home and attending six-month checkups and cleaning, your dental fillings can last many years. Typically, amalgam fillings remain stable for 10 to 15 years, and composites last five to seven years. No special care or maintenance is required.
Schedule Your Consultation Now
Fillings, inlays, onlays, and dental crowns provide strong restorations for teeth compromised by decay, chips, and fractures. If you need a filling or another type of restoration, or if you suffer with a nagging toothache, call Docklands Dental Studio now to reserve an exam and consultation with one of our restorative dentists. We’ll assess your mouth, talk with you about options, and help you decide which procedure and material is best for you.