Fillings are some of the most common dental treatments. A dentist will place a filling in your tooth after removing decayed dental matter and cleaning the cavities. According to Science Daily, an average American has at least three fillings. At Peters Dental, we like to ensure our patients understand the procedure thoroughly before undergoing it. Here’s a look at everything you need to know about fillings:
Why Are Fillings Necessary?
The filling compound acts as a replacement for natural dental matter after the dentist has cleared the decay. The material helps maintain the structural integrity and ensures bacteria doesn’t get into the tooth’s pulp.
Different Kinds of Fillings
There are different options available to patients, and our dentist can explain the pros and cons of each. Here’s a look at some of the most popular filling compounds:
- Gold – Gold is a resilient and flexible material. Fillings made from this metal last for 20 years or more if maintained well. Most patients don’t experience any allergies or gum problems from it. That’s why many dentists consider it the best filling material. Gold is quite noticeable and expensive, which is why it’s not very popular with patients.
- Amalgam – Silver or amalgam fillings are resistant to wear and tear, and they’re also quite affordable. Patients hesitate to choose this material because it is dark and visible. It is best suited for cavities in the back molars.
- Composite – Composite fillings match the color of natural teeth and are affordable, and are popular with patients. The dentist mixes the compound and places it in the cavity, where it hardens quickly. This treatment is suitable for patients with small cavities because composite fillings are more fragile and can’t support large cavities. However, they can last for 10 years if maintained well.
- Porcelain – These fillings are customized for the patient and then bonded to the tooth. They are similar in color and translucency to natural teeth, making them almost unnoticeable in the mouth. Porcelain inlays or onlays are just as expensive as gold but less visible.
These are the most popular filling options available in the market today. You should consult with your dentist to understand the pros and cons of each type before making a decision. Some patients don’t react well to metal fillings, while others need stronger reinforcement than porcelain compounds can provide. Your dentist will consider all of your health concerns before recommending the best solution.
What To Expect During the Procedure
The filling treatment is short and relatively painless. Most patients can walk out of the clinic and carry on with their day after the procedure. Here’s a look at what you can expect:
- The dentist will administer local anesthesia at the beginning of the procedure to minimize discomfort. The anesthesia will numb the areas around the tooth and ensure you don’t experience any pain.
- The next step is to remove all decayed dental matter. The dentist will cut away the damaged material with a drill and clean the site thoroughly.
- They will either etch teeth with a special acid or apply resin depending on the filling. This process ensures the filling bonds with the tooth and remains in place for many years to come.
- They will apply the filling and allow it to set in place properly. Different filling compounds require different application techniques. The dentist will choose the most appropriate process.
- The final step is to polish the tooth until it is clean and smooth. The dentist will complete the procedure by cleaning the surrounding area.
If you want to know more about our full range of services, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Peters Dental. You can call one of our clinics or use our contact us page.