Fillings involve the insertion of a specific material, such as silver amalgam or composite resin into a tooth that has become damaged from cavities, enamel erosion, or oral trauma. A filling rebuilds the tooth’s structure, making it easier to chew and restoring the appearance of your smile.
When fillings are used to treat tooth decay, we’ll first remove the decay with a dental drill and then refill the tooth with composite resin. The procedure is painless, as it is done under a local anesthetic. Fillings prevent decay from penetrating deeper into the tooth which can result in a tooth infection and require a root canal or extraction. Contact us at Tree of Life Dentistry today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Shridhar.
After getting a filling, chewing food may be less painful.
The process begins with an oral exam and x-rays to determine if a filling is the right solution for your needs. If decay has penetrated deeper into the tooth, you may need a root canal.
After numbing your mouth, a dental drill will be used to gently remove decay from the tooth.
After drilling, we will etch your tooth with an acidic gel which encourages the adhesive. This is then rinsed off.
After etching, we will apply the composite resin in layers and cure each layer with UV light. Then, the filling can be shaped and polished.
While composite resin fillings are a little less durable and more costly than traditional silver amalgam fillings, they are now the preferred material to fill cavities with.
Amalgam fillings are being phased out because they cause an unsightly silver appearance in the mouth, contain mercury, aren’t suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women. They also take 24 hours to harden, and require more removal of the natural tooth.
Tooth-colored fillings look like your real teeth, are made of biocompatible materials, instantly harden, are suitable for all patients, and are minimally invasive.
Composite resin fillings look hyper-realistic so no one can tell you have a filling.
A dental filling is a minimally invasive restorative treatment that saves you a lot of money and time by preventing the need for more invasive procedures like root canals or extractions. When a cavity is filled, this prevents the decay from reaching the dental pulp, which would lead to infection.
Ultimately, fillings restore the structure, appearance, and function of the teeth, are cost-effective, and painless. They strengthen teeth, repair damage, and prevent the consequences of tooth loss.
Composite resin fillings last for an average of 5-7 years, but they can last for more than a decade with the proper care. Do not smoke or consume staining foods and drinks. This contributes to surface stains. You should also avoid using your teeth as tools to open things or to chew on your nails, ice, or hard foods. If you grind your teeth, you will need to wear a night guard.
A filling prevents the likelihood of tooth loss and therefore prevents bone loss and shifting teeth.