Dental fillings play a vital role in addressing tooth decay, one of the most prevalent dental issues worldwide. As a potential patient, you must want to know all you can before you commit to getting fillings. So, this article will discuss the significance of fillings in both preventing and treating decay. The goal is to educate readers about the importance of prioritizing oral health.
Of course, one thing that you need to keep in mind right away when looking to get a dental filling is that you should always get it from a good emergency dental treatment provider who also offers dental insurance cover support. We at Sunny Dental offer tooth-colored fillings at our professional dental office.
Understanding Tooth Decay
Tooth decay, also called dental caries, occurs when the outer layers of the tooth—enamel and dentin—become demineralized due to an acidic environment in the mouth. This is caused by plaque bacteria on the teeth breaking down sugars from food into acid. If left unchecked, there can be further tooth decay that can move from the enamel to the inner dental pulp, causing pain and requiring extraction. Therefore, early detection through regular checkups by visiting your dentist regularly is key.
Types of Dental Fillings
Common filling materials include amalgam filling, composite fillings, ceramic filling, and glass ionomer. Amalgam fillings use mercury and other metals to bond together and replace missing cavity fillings with dental amalgams. Composite resin fillings mimic the look of natural enamel using a tooth-colored composite. Ceramic also resembles tooth structure/color for aesthetics and is actually preferred for its strength and durability in cavity fillings.
Glass ionomer also bonds well and releases fluoride for protection. New materials offer improved strength, aesthetics, or bonding, even when it comes to temporary fillings. The ideal material depends on location, extent of decay, and cost considerations that you may have as a patient getting dental filling materials.
One place that you can easily find out about these things is the dentist’s office. Depending on your condition and medical or family history, you may be recommended any of the available options. We at Sunny Dental offer you every possible dental filling option and help you get a fully sound tooth structure once again. We also consider other factors like amalgam allergy, broken teeth, root canal procedures, and even habits like tooth grinding and improper care leading to the presence of decay-causing bacteria.
Detecting Early Decay with Dental Check-Ups
Regular six-month dental checkups allow early detection of decay in its initial reversible stage before it advances. During examinations, dentists carefully inspect all tooth surfaces under good lighting and magnification for any non-cavitated or cavitated lesions.
They also take bitewing X-rays to detect interdental or deep subsurface decay missed during visual exams. Undetected decay often advances unchecked, necessitating root canals or extractions that could have been avoided.
The Anatomy of a Dental Filling
A filling is made of several components that work together to restore tooth structure. An adhesive or bonding agent binds the filling material to tooth surfaces. Liners may be placed as a cushion against pulp sensitivity. The core filling material, like composite or amalgam, is the main bulk that replaces missing enamel/dentin.
It is carefully molded and shaped to the original tooth contour. Finishing and polishing ensure a seamless blend with the surrounding natural tooth structure, and improper cavity preparation could lead to the opposite result as well.
The Filling Procedure: Step by Step
The process of adding tooth fillings can vary depending on the type of material used and the extent of the tooth decay. However, a general outline of the steps is as follows:
The dentist examines your teeth using a mirror and a probe. They may also take X-rays to see the extent of the decay and check for any infection in the pulp or roots of the tooth.
The dentist applies a numbing gel to the gums around the affected tooth. Then, they inject a local anesthetic into the gum to numb the area. This may cause a slight pinch or sting, but it should not be painful. If the decay is only on the surface of the tooth, the dentist may not need to administer an anesthetic at all.
The dentist uses a drill or another tool to remove the decayed part of the tooth. They will also clean and disinfect the cavity to prevent any infection. This step may cause some vibration or noise, but it should not hurt. If you feel any pain or discomfort, you can signal the dentist to stop and give you more anesthetic.
Shaping and polishing
The dentist shapes and smooths the filling to match the contour of your tooth. They may also trim any excess material and polish the surface to make it look natural and prevent staining. They will ask you to bite down on a piece of paper or plastic to check if the filling is comfortable and does not interfere with your bite.
After the procedure, you may experience some sensitivity or soreness in your tooth or gum for a few days. This is normal and should subside gradually. You can take over-the-counter painkillers or use ice packs to ease any discomfort. We at Sunny Dental offer complete guidance on your treatment so you can get the best possible results after getting your silver fillings.
Filling Materials for Children and Adolescents
Fluoride-releasing materials like glass ionomer or resin-modified glass ionomer are preferred for children due to ongoing tooth development. Fluoride helps with remineralization under dental filling. These fillings appeal due to adhesion, lower polymerization shrinkage stress, and biocompatibility.
Dental sealants or preventive resin restorations efficiently manage early decay in primary teeth. Composite is increasingly used in older children, with single-visit applications under rubber dams. Behavior management techniques ensure that young patients experience positive dental experiences.
The Importance of Tooth Preservation
A key goal of fillings is tooth preservation. Left untreated, decay may ultimately necessitate tooth extractions, jeopardizing oral function aesthetics and increasing future dental expenses. Fillings address the underlying cause through durable restorations that re-mineralize the tooth.
They restore form and function with healthy replacement tissues. This is biologically favorable over extractions, which reduce chewing surfaces. It also lessens the need for bridges, dentures, or implants later in life. Preserving natural dentition is always the preferred treatment approach when restorations remain an option.
Replacing Old or Failing Composite Fillings or Silver Amalgam Fillings
Signs of failing fillings include new decay, leaky margins, cracked fillings, or persistent sensitivity. These allow bacteria entry, creating new decay below or along fillings. Old amalgam fillings may change shape over time due to corrosion. New materials offer improvements like increased strength, better adhesion and aesthetics.
Dental lasers allow more minimally invasive replacements. Amalgam fillings in molars can be replaced if corrosion compromises integrity or risks micro-fractures. Replacing outdated fillings prevents further deterioration and future dental expenses.
Caring for Teeth with Fillings
Proper home care removes stains and plaque, maintaining healthy fillings and gums so that a sound tooth structure remains in place. Patients should gently brush and floss surrounding each filling at least twice daily. Interdental brushes extend cleanings between teeth. Without occlusion interferences, tooth-colored composite resin fillings and even others last 5-10 years on average.
Regular professional cleanings remove buildups under cavity fillings and catch early disease. Should any discoloration appear around existing restorations, including marginal staining or excess sensitivity, patients must be promptly evaluated. Close monitoring can help prevent any further untreated decay.
Getting the best material for our metal fillings, traditional fillings, or even composite fillings requires a good dental laboratory that can make the best cavity filling using quality tooth-colored material. We at Sunny Dental offer that service to our patients, and it covers silver filling, porcelain fillings, composite resin material fillings, and other restorative materials.
Dental Fillings and Oral Health
Any high-quality dental filling not only restores functionality to the newly filled tooth but promotes overall oral health. Along with proper homecare and professional cleanings, certain filling materials can supplement natural defenses. Glass ionomers and resin-modified glass ionomers recharge enamel through continued fluoride release within the tooth. This enhances remineralization in a cariostatic environment.
Addressing decay with professional treatment limits spread into surrounding tooth structures or gum tissues through advancing periodontal disease. Fillings enable comfortable chewing and speech while preserving tooth structures.
Get Your Dental Fillings and Fight Tooth Decay Properly
In summary, dental fillings play an invaluable role in managing tooth decay, a highly common dental issue. By replacing lost tooth structure and chewing surface, they restore both form and function while discouraging further decay.
Whether your existing teeth need servicing or you need a tooth-colored filling, we at Sunny Dental offer the best possible service in all of Florida. So, you can talk to us about our temporary filling needs, insurance coverage, and any other treatments like silver amalgam fillings. You can either book yourself an appointment using our 24/7 online booking system or simply call us on our number during business hours.