What Are Dental Fillings?

What Are Dental Fillings?

The tooth enamel is strong and made to last for a lifetime. However, due to poor hygiene, it can get cavities. A cavity is a tooth decay caused by bacterial buildup. When cavities form, they can cause holes and eventually damage the enamel.

The symptoms of a tooth cavity don’t develop immediately, so you may not notice the decay until it’s too late. However, with regular dental checkups, the cavity can be detected early and the dentist may reverse the effects as well as preserve the tooth with dental fillings.

Dental fillings, therefore, are restorative treatments that restore the integrity and function of the tooth.

Dental Conditions That Benefit

Apart from dental cavities, the dentist may use dental fillings to correct various conditions such as;

  • Tooth fractures. If you have a minor tooth break that doesn’t extend to the root, a dental filling may be used.
  • Tooth discoloration is used when professional teeth whitening is not an option
  • When you have small holes that are not caused by cavities

What Materials Are Used?

Our dentist in Chicago, IL will discuss with you the different fillings material used and their pros and cons.

· Composite filling

Composite or resin filling is made of plastic and glass mixture and can be altered to fit the natural tooth color. Because of the material, composite fillings are prone to stains and will discolor with time.

· Dental Amalgam

Amalgam is a common dental filling preferred by some people due to its durability. The amalgam is made of metals like copper, tin, silver, and mercury.

FDA has cleared amalgam for use for people who are six years and above.

· Porcelain fillings

They are also common due to their natural-looking. Porcelain fillings are long-lasting but more expensive.

The Filling Procedure

1. Dental assessment

The dentist will use an x-ray imagining to assess your dental condition and determine if fillings are perfect for you. Dental fillings are only ideal for minor dental problems. For more severe cases, other restorative treatments such as implants may be ideal.

2. Removing and cleaning off bacteria

A local anesthetic or numbing agent will be used to reduce your discomfort. Our dentist will use a laser or hand-piece to remove the decayed and damaged parts of the teeth. Finally, an acid gel is applied to clean off the bacteria and debris.

3. Application of the filling

The fixing of the dental filling requires precision. The dentist will apply an adhesive material on the affected tooth to isolate it. Afterward, the filling is placed and the tooth polished.

4. Follow-up

This dental procedure takes about one to two hours, but the dentist will schedule a follow-up appointment to assess the condition of the fillings.

What to Expect

During the dental procedure, you will not have pain because of the anesthesia. However, as it begins to wear off, you may experience mild to moderate discomfort, and tooth sensitivity that lasts for a few days.

It is vital to avoid any foods that may cause sensitivity and discomfort during this time. Visit our dentist if the sensitivity lasts for more than two weeks.

Other problems that may arise include allergic reactions which are rare and wearing down of the filling.

Filling Aftercare

The best way to support and extend the durability of dental fillings is to maintain good oral hygiene. Having regular dental checkups will help you identify these dental problems before it’s too late. Remember, cavities don’t usually cause symptoms in the early stages.

Furthermore, use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to strengthen your enamel and keep dental cavities off.

When it comes to diet, avoid hard and sticky foods for the first 24 hours.

Final Thoughts

Cavities can seek in and if left untreated they can cause great damage. Knowing your dental status is vital as that is the best way to prevent dental problems. So, call or visit our dentist in Chicago, IL for a dental assessment and discussion on the different dental treatments that are suitable for you.

773-925-0650 Book an Appointment