Cavities are common in teeth. People of all ages have had to deal with tooth decay. Sugary foods and beverages can cause decay to form, causing holes in teeth. To fill these holes and restore the health of the tooth, your dentist may recommend a filling. In addition, a dental filling can be used to repair worn or broken teeth. Dental fillings can be made from various materials. The right one for your mouth will depend on the location as well as the cost. Do you need a filling? Contact us and schedule a consultation today.
What are the Different Types of Dental Fillings?
The most commonly used materials for fillings are:
- Composite. Composite fillings can be colored to match your teeth. The ingredients are mixed while in the teeth and then harden. They chemically bond to the teeth for extra support. However, these fillings are not as durable as others, lasting only 3-10 years. Composite fillings also stain easily.
- Porcelain. Porcelain fillings are also used for cosmetic purposes. They match the color of the tooth, so they are virtually undetectable by others. They are one of the most expensive options.
- Gold. Gold is also an expensive filling choice. However, it is also the most durable choice. The gums seem to tolerate gold fillings well, and they can last for 20 years. They do not corrode.
- Amalgam. Amalgam, or silver, fillings are the least expensive. However, they are also the most noticeable. They are often used in the back and are fairly durable, lasting 10-15 years. They tend to discolor over time and may expand and contract more than other fillings, causing cracks.
What is the Dental Filling Process?
The first step is to numb the tooth. The dentist will then remove the decayed portion of the tooth with a drill or laser. All debris and bacteria will then be removed, and the area will be prepared for the filling. The filling will then be placed inside the tooth. A liner may be placed inside the filling to protect the nerves near the root. Once the filling is placed, the dentist will then polish the tooth.
For a tooth-colored filling, the material is applied in layers. A special light hardens each layer as it is applied. The dentist will then shape the filling material, cut off any excess and polish the tooth.
However, a dental filling may not be sufficient for larger areas. Instead, a dental crown may be needed to preserve the tooth. If the decay has reached the roots, then a root canal or pulp capping may be recommended. These two procedures are very different. A root canal removes the damaged nerve, while pulp capping keeps the nerve alive.
If you have tooth decay, a dental filling is usually the best way to take care of it. Dental fillings are a very common procedure and are often covered by insurance. Have questions or concerns? Harrisonburg Family Dentistry can help. Schedule an appointment for your filling today by calling our office. We look forward to taking care of your oral health.