At Reich Dental Center, we have qualified experts who will assist you in dealing with your decayed teeth with dental fillings.
In addition to treating cavities, we also use fillings in our offices to repair broken or cracked teeth, as well as teeth that have worn out as a result of misuse – like tooth grinding and nail-biting.
What Is a Tooth Filling?
Dental fillings, or tooth fillings, are one or two part structures made of metals, polymers, glass, or other substances used to restore or repair teeth.
These teeth fillings are used to fill cavities or areas of teeth that your dentist has removed due to decay.
Additionally, fillings are utilized to restore teeth that have been damaged, broken, or cracked due to tooth grinding or any other misuse.
Why Do I Need a Tooth Filling?
Dentists treat cavities with tooth fillings to prevent them from developing into more significant dental issues.
Fillings can fix tooth cracks and fractures and fill small holes left by tooth decay.
If you don't take care of these structural problems, tooth decay can lead to severe issues. After treating tooth decay, as long as the sound tooth structure remains, dental fillings can strengthen the tooth.
How Are Dental Fillings Done?
First, one of our dentists will need to numb the area around the affected tooth using a local anesthetic.
Then, they use a laser, drill, or an air abrasion tool to remove the decayed part of the tooth. The instrument used greatly depends on the extent of the damage as well as the location of the tooth.
Once they remove the decayed area, our dentists will proceed to examine the tooth to check whether they have completely removed the decay.
If the damaged area has been removed, our dentists then prepare the tooth for the fillings by cleaning the area to remove any debris and bacteria.
If the decay is located near the tooth root, our specialists first insert a lining made of composite resin or glass ionomer in order to safeguard the nerves in your tooth.
Once the filling is done, our experts will polish it in order to give it an even appearance.
You will also need extra steps if you opt for tooth-colored dental fillings. Once our dentists remove the decay and clean the area, they usually apply tooth-colored filling material in layers.
Next, they use a special light that will harden or cure each layer as they apply it.
Once our experts finish this multi-layering process, they normally shape the material, trim off the excess material, and then polish it for the final appearance.
What to Do After Fillings
Your fillings should remain firmly in your mouth for months and years to come.
It is important to maintain dental hygiene as usual, and don't forget to make appointments for regular check-ups with us.
At times, you might suspect that your filling is cracked or its leaking – that is, when its sides don't fit well against your tooth.
This can allow saliva or debris to get into the tooth, which can cause further decay to the tooth.
In case you notice that, make sure that you call us to make an appointment straight away. Our dentists will be more than willing to inspect the tooth via an x-ray, if necessary, to check the situation.
What Does a Tooth Filling Look Like?
Traditionally, dental fillings were made of metals and alloys, such as gold, silver, or copper, but recent ones are made of composite materials, making them look and feel like natural teeth.
The metallic ones look like the metal they're made out of. So they are recognizable, even from a distance.
Are Dental Fillings Safe?
Dental fillings are generally safe, but as with any medical procedure, there are some associated risks. The process can trigger anesthetic complications and a mouth or blood vessel injury. The affected tooth can get heat or cold-sensitive.
Usually, this lasts for a few days before healing on its own.
The filing procedure can damage surrounding teeth. The filling might shrink or expand, damaging the tooth and the filling itself.
A large cavity can lead to additional and more extensive procedures, including a crown, tooth extraction, or root canal.
How Long Do Tooth Fillings Last?
The average age of tooth fillings depends on the dental filling materials.
Gold fillings have the longest lifespan of any restoration, lasting 15 to 30 years on average.
Amalgam fillings, which have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years, are the second most resilient material for dental fillings.
Composite fillings or tooth-colored fillings are created by combining a strong polymer called resin with tiny pieces of glass or quartz. They usually last between five and seven years, and some variants might last up to 10 years.
What Can I Eat After a Tooth Filling
For a day or two after getting a tooth filling, you should only consume a soft diet and skip hard, sugary, and sticky foods and hot and cold drinks. Chew from the other side of the mouth to prevent pain and damage to the filling site.
Schedule a Tooth Filling With Your Smyrna, GA Dentist Today!
If you have a dental cavity or are experiencing dental decay, please call us at 770-435-5450 to schedule a consultation for dental fillings. Our doctors will help you decide what material will suit your needs and last for a long time.
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