When you visit the dental clinic, you may have many questions. Is my dental visit worth it? Do I have any oral problems? Restoring damaged teeth and helping them function as before is the main purpose of using dental fillings. Damage to teeth can happen for many reasons. This can be due to other medical conditions, continued medication, improper oral hygiene, and habits like smoking or using tobacco. How does the dentist fix the cavity with a filling, or what is the filling? At Alpha Dental, we want to help you understand how we can fix your cavity and what a filling does. We hope that by learning how dental fillings work, you will feel more at ease and remove some of the fear and anxiety you may have.
What is a dental cavity?
Dental cavities are holes left in teeth after bacteria have eaten away at the tooth. The cavity still contains the bacteria that created the hole. If the cavity is not treated, the bacteria will continue to live there, worsening the disease and infection. This can lead to tooth damage and possible bloodstream infection. So, it’s important to have tooth decay removed as soon as possible.
Why do I need a filling to fix a dental cavity?
Tooth decay is one of the main causes of tooth sensitivity. As the decay progresses and gets deeper into the tooth, it exposes the inner nerves that compromise the tooth’s structural integrity. This also becomes a site of continued infection and inflammation. For this reason, the dentist needs to remove the decay as soon as possible to prevent it from progressing any further. Once the decay is removed, there will still be a hole in the tooth unless a filling is placed.
Fillings are important because they help prevent cavities from developing into bigger problems like infection. They also give your tooth extra strength and support, which can help it resist chipping and cracking. So, it’s best to get fillings as soon as your dentist identifies a cavity. That way, you can avoid more damage to your tooth and keep it healthy!
How do dental fillings differ?
Dental fillings come in many different types, each better suited for different issues. Your dentist can suggest which type of filling is best for you, depending on your issue. Fillings are made from different materials, some highly refined and mimic natural teeth. This can be a go-to choice for those who want the best-looking restored teeth.
Gold fillings are metal filling used for dental fillings since the early days. They offer strength and stability and can last longer without needing repairs. However, they are more expensive than other fillings because they use gold. They usually take more than one visit to the dentist, as the dentist will need to measure the teeth to prepare the filling.
Silver fillings are categorised under metal fillings; as the name suggests, silver is used for this filling. They offer great support to teeth, just like gold fillings but are less expensive. Some people do not prefer silver fillings because of the colour of the filling. Usually, these fillings are preferred for teeth inside the mouth that are not visible, as they are more stable and offer better support for teeth that have to deal with a lot of chewing.
Composite/plastic fillings match your natural teeth’ colour. This makes them ideal for filling your front teeth or other visible areas. The dentist will mix the materials during your visit and then place them in the area that needs to be filled. They might not last as long as metal fillings and must be replaced after a few years.
Porcelain fillings are made of oxygen and silicon that have been developed into a non-crystalline glass. They are made in the dental lab and applied to teeth; like other procedures, this also requires a few dentist visits as the fillings need to be placed in the teeth cavity. They can be made to look like natural teeth, and one of their advantages is that they’re stain resistant.
Glass ionomer fillings
Glass ionomer fillings cover the cavity in the affected tooth/teeth. It protects the tooth/teeth by creating a barrier between the outside environment and the tooth. This filling is usually used for fillings in children as it releases fluoride, which helps protect their teeth. However, these fillings do not last long and must be replaced every five years.
What is the filling process?
At Alpha Dental clinic, we provide a relaxed environment for all of our patients. Filling the cavities is a common procedure that closes cavities in teeth, which can severely affect oral and dental health if left untreated. Using specialised tools, our dentist will remove the infected core of the tooth and wash away any remaining remnants of the infection.
After the cavity is clean and sterile, the chosen dental filling will be placed in the tooth. The tooth’s cavity is filled up, and it is sealed. This procedure of drilling and cleaning the cavity usually takes less than an hour. The dental filling procedure might take a few visits depending on the filling chosen and the procedure used.
It is important to follow post-operative care instructions given by Alpha Dental professionals after the dental filling procedure. These instructions will help ensure proper healing, avoid infection, and promote optimal results.
Make sure to come to Alpha Dental clinic twice a year for dental check-ups as this will help to identify any existing dental problems, and proactive steps can be taken to protect oral and dental health.
Contact Alpha Dental for all your dental problems; we’re here to put your dental needs at ease.