Dental fillings are one of the most conservative and affordable ways to restore a tooth that has been decayed or damaged. At Langtree Dental Associates, depending on the health of the tooth and the extent of the cavity discovered during your dental exam, we can repair your tooth with different types of filling material.
Types of Dental Fillings
There are many types of material that are available for tooth fillings and all have their benefits and disadvantages. The two most common types of fillings that are used are:
Amalgam is an alloy of silver and some base metals which makes a very strong and durable filling. Because of their strength and ability to withstand a great deal of pressure, amalgam fillings are often preferred for the back teeth. They can also be used to restore the front teeth, but since the filling has a metallic color, most people prefer not to use it for their visible teeth. Amalgam fillings are the least expensive types of fillings.
These fillings are made of composite resin which is tooth-colored. The material is composed of glass fillers and are fairly durable, though not as strong as metal based fillings. These fillings are a good option for small or medium-sized cavities. Since they match the color of your teeth, they are the preferred choice when it comes to restoring your front teeth.
What to Expect During a Dental Filling Process
The dental filling procedure usually takes no more than an hour and is completed in a single session. At Langtree Dental Associates, Dr. Shannon Snipe will take an x-ray of your affected tooth and determine the severity of the damage. We will then numb the area surrounding your teeth so that you remain comfortable during the procedure. We will clean away the decay from your tooth to get rid of the infection. We will then fill the prepared cavity with a dental filling and use a curing light to harden the filling.
After the procedure, your mouth will remain numb for a few hours. During this time, you must be careful not to eat anything as you can accidentally bite your cheek or tongue. Once the numbness has faded, you can eat like normal.
Potential Problems With Dental Filling
If a dental filling is not done right, it can lead to potential problems. Some include:
||Infection: In some cases a dental filling may pull away from the tooth to create a small pocket which allows bacteria to invade your tooth. If you detect a small space between your tooth and filling, contact us right away so that we can fix it.
||Damage: Sometimes a tooth may crack further, or a filling may break off. When this happens, you may experience pain when you bite down. Your tooth also becomes vulnerable to bacteria. If you suspect your tooth or filling has broken down, schedule an emergency appointment with us so that we can prevent infection.
How Long Do Dental Fillings Last
Dental fillings can last for several years before they wear down due to chewing. If you are in the habit of grinding your teeth, you may have to get your filling replaced sooner.
If you see signs of your filling wearing down, you should contact us to repair it. Chewing on a damaged filling can further erode it as well as cause damage to your tooth, which may require expensive treatments, like a dental crown, to repair.
If you have a cavity don’t wait for it to become bigger and painful before you get an appointment with us. Call us today at (704) 672-0477 for a consultation.