Dental fillings are one of the most common dental treatments, with over 89% of Americans having at least one filling. As dental professionals, our goal is to help patients preserve their teeth through this treatment.
In this article, we’ll discuss how dental fillings make a difference in preserving your teeth, including the different types of fillings, the benefits, what to expect, potential risks, aftercare tips, and how to find the right dentist.
Join us as we explore the importance of dental fillings for preserving your teeth.
Understanding Dental Fillings
Dental fillings are a common procedure used to protect and preserve teeth that have become damaged or decayed. In general, a dental filling is a restorative dental treatment used to fill the gap created by tooth decay. This filling material is typically made from either gold, amalgam, porcelain, composite, or glass ionomer. The type of filling used will depend on the size and location of the cavity, as well as the patient’s budget and aesthetic preferences.
Amalgam fillings are made of a combination of metals such as silver, tin, copper, and mercury, making them strong and durable. Gold fillings, on the other hand, are made of pure gold and can last up to 20 years. Composite fillings are made of a plastic and glass material that is matched to the colour of the patient’s teeth, making them an attractive option. Porcelain fillings, also called inlays or onlays, are made of a ceramic material that matches the patient’s natural tooth colour, making them a great choice for restoring teeth in the front of the mouth. Finally, glass ionomer fillings are made from a combination of glass and acrylic and are primarily used to fill small cavities on the sides of the teeth.
No matter the filling used, the goal of the treatment is to restore the normal function and shape of the tooth while also preventing further tooth decay. With the right dental care, fillings can help preserve teeth for years to come.
The Different Types of Fillings
From gold to composite, there are a variety of fillings that can be used to restore and preserve teeth. Depending on the condition of the natural tooth and the desired outcome, a dentist can recommend the type of filling that is best for the patient.
- Silver amalgam is a type of filling material that is made of a combination of metals and is durable and long-lasting.
- Composite resins are a tooth-coloured filling material made from a combination of glass and plastic and are used for both cosmetic and structural purposes.
- Temporary fillings are used in situations where more time is needed to decide on the best type of tooth filling.
- Composite resin fillings are often used to restore decayed teeth and require less preparation than silver amalgam fillings.
- Gold fillings are the most expensive type of dental filling material and are also the most durable.
Dental fillings help to prevent further decay and restore the function of the tooth. The dental filling procedure is a fast, safe, and effective way of preserving teeth and providing a natural-looking result.
With the variety of dental fillings available, patients can rest assured knowing that their teeth will be restored and preserved with the best possible outcome.
Benefits of Dental Fillings
By getting a dental filling, individuals can benefit from the preservation of their teeth and the restoration of their smile. Dental fillings are a great way to prevent the further decay of teeth and can be a natural-looking part of one’s smile. Tooth-coloured fillings, such as composite material or glass ionomer fillings, are non-toxic and are the preferred choice at many dental clinics. In addition, silver fillings are also an option, but should be avoided if possible due to the levels of mercury vapor they can produce.
Getting a dental filling is a relatively simple process and can be done during a regular dental visit. To prevent the need for fillings, individuals should maintain a healthy diet and keep their teeth clean, as this will help keep decay-causing bacteria at bay. It is also important to note that pregnant women should avoid silver fillings due to safety concerns.
Overall, dental fillings are a great way to protect and preserve one’s teeth and can last for years if properly cared for. By visiting a dental clinic, individuals can learn more about the best type of filling for their needs, and get started on the path to a healthier, more beautiful smile.
What to Expect With Dental Fillings
Having a dental filling done can be a relatively straightforward process, but it is important to know what to expect beforehand. The process typically begins with the dentist examining the tooth structure for signs of additional decay, as well as assessing the size and location of the cavity. Once the area has been determined, the dentist will then use a composite resin material to fill the cavity and create a replacement filling. In some cases, a tooth-colored filling may be used, which can blend in with the natural tooth structure.
The placement of the filling may cause some tooth sensitivity, as well as the possibility of pain signals when consuming cold foods. Additionally, some food particles may become lodged in the filling, which can lead to further decay in the area.
To ensure the best outcome when having a dental filling done, it is important to:
- Follow the dentist’s instructions for pre- and post-treatment care.
- Avoid eating foods that are brittle or sticky.
- Schedule regular dental check-ups for ongoing maintenance and monitoring.
- Brush and floss the teeth twice a day.
- Avoid chewing on hard objects.
Potential Risks of Dental Fillings
Although dental fillings are generally considered safe, there are some potential risks that should be considered before having one placed. Emergency dental visits for removal of a filling due to pain or infection can occur if a filled tooth is not properly cared for. Allergic reactions to the filling material can also occur, such as with gold inlays or dental amalgam, which contains mercury. A person may be allergic to the mercury in the amalgam, and the effects of mercury vapor can be significant. For those who are allergic or prefer not to use dental amalgam, composite or tooth-colored fillings are available.
The materials used for dental fillings may also cause an inflammation of the gum tissue, known as gingivitis, which can be prevented by proper dental care. Furthermore, the composite materials used in tooth-colored fillings may not be as durable as dental amalgam and may require more frequent replacement.
It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of each type of filling with your dentist before undergoing any dental procedures. With careful consideration and frequent dental check-ups, dental fillings can be an effective way to preserve your teeth.
Aftercare Tips for Dental Fillings
Following the placement of a dental filling, it is important to take proper care of it in order to ensure it lasts for as long as possible. To help maintain a long-lasting filling, it is advised to brush and floss regularly and to avoid hard and chewy foods. Here are a few tips for post-filling care:
- Avoid tooth grinding and clenching, as it can damage the natural tooth structure and the filling itself.
- Visit the dentist for additional visits if the filling becomes loose or if any decay around it is detected.
- Be mindful of the type of filling material used. Amalgam material is strong and durable but can be visible in the mouth; tooth-coloured material is much more aesthetically pleasing but may need to be replaced more frequently.
- Practice good dental care habits, such as brushing and flossing twice daily, to help prevent further tooth decay or loss.
- Ask your dentist about the best dental filling option for you to help ensure the filling is long-lasting and a fit for the decayed material.
How to Find the Right Dentist for Dental Fillings
When selecting a dentist for a dental filling, it is important to consider experience, qualifications, and reviews from other patients. The dentist should be familiar with the mixture of metals used in traditional fillings and the dark colour they tend to produce when exposed to special light. Furthermore, it is important to take into consideration a patient’s comfort level and exposure to mercury which may be present in the filling material.
It is also recommended to consult with a healthcare professional about your health condition and any sugary food you may have consumed prior to the tooth-filling procedure. Ultimately, it is essential to find a dentist who meets your needs and provides excellent service.
The dentist should be knowledgeable about the filling material to be used, depending on your oral health. Your dentist should also provide an explanation of the tooth-filling procedure and answer any questions you may have. Additionally, it is important to choose a dentist who takes the time to explain the risks and benefits of the procedure.
Ultimately, finding the right dentist for a dental filling is essential for the preservation of your teeth. This means selecting a qualified dentist with experience in the field who pays attention to your concerns and needs. With the right dentist, you can be sure that your dental filling will be tailored to your individual needs and that you will receive the best care possible.
Dental fillings are a great way to preserve your teeth and make sure they last for years to come. It’s important to know the different types of fillings, what to expect from the procedure, and the potential risks involved.
Aftercare is key, and with the right dentist, you can have a successful dental filling experience. So smile big and show off your pearly whites, knowing that you are taking good care of your oral health!
If you’re looking for a dentist to help you with your dental fillings, look no further than Wattle Park Dental in Surrey Hills, VIC. Our experienced team of dentists will be able to guide you through the entire process, from diagnosis to aftercare. With our help, you can keep your teeth healthy and strong for years to come. So don’t hesitate to book an appointment today!