Do you need a dental filling? If so, you’re probably wondering what one is and how the process works. Even if you don’t need a filling, it’s useful to understand as much about them as possible. We’ve created a short guide to help you learn everything you need to know:
What is a dental filling?
As the name suggests, a dental filling is used to fill up a hole in your tooth. It’s composed of a material that’s inserted into the hole and solidified. Sometimes, fillings are used to fill slight cracks or gaps in your teeth as well. As such, they are typically used when someone suffers from tooth decay or has fractured or chipped a tooth.
Why are fillings important?
A dental filling is important as it can prevent further damage from happening to your teeth. When a tooth has a hole in it, it loses a lot of its strength and structure. In turn, it can easily fall out, which leaves you with a gap in your mouth. Aside from being unsightly, this gap can also cause bone resorption, which will make the surrounding teeth weaker.
A filling will basically save the tooth by making it strong once more. It also removes decay from the tooth, preventing further problems from happening – and freeing you from any pain.
What is the dental filling process like?
Thankfully, dental fillings are a common procedure for dentists to perform. They shouldn’t take long, and you won’t feel any pain at all. The affected tooth will be numbed at the beginning of the treatment, and then the decay is removed. Your dentist will use a drill to do this, ensuring all decay is cleaned out of the tooth.
Following this, the filling is then prepared and added to the tooth. You can choose from a plethora of different filling types depending on your preference/budget. The two most common are amalgam and composite resin. Amalgam fillings are silver in appearance and will be the cheaper option. However, composite resin fillings are more realistic, durable, and stay in for longer. The choice is yours, but composite fillings are the best.
Once the filling is inserted into the cavity, your dentist will shape it accordingly. They ensure that your tooth retains its natural shape and design, then the filling is hardened. A light is typically used to cure composite fillings, and that’s the entire process!
No recovery time is required, though your mouth will still be numb for a short while on the affected side. You should also avoid chewing on that side, just to let the filling settle.
How are dental fillings prevented?
It’s simple: take better care of your teeth. Follow a strict oral hygiene routine that includes brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Avoid food/drink high in sugar/acidity, and visit your dentist for regular checkups.
Do you need a filling? If so, contact our dental office to schedule an appointment with an experienced dentist. We can also provide preventative dentistry to stop fillings from forming in the first place. Call us now to learn more.