A dental filling is a way to rebuild a damaged or decayed tooth to its normal function and shape. When you require a dental filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material. After cleaning the damaged area, he will fill the cleaned-out cavity with a filling material. Dental fillings are also used to restore cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse like nail-biting or tooth grinding). And by closing off the spaces where there is a possibility that bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay. The materials used for fillings are gold, porcelain, a composite resin (colored fillings), and an amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin, or sometimes zinc).
Types of Dental Filling:
There are various forms of fillings, and no universal model of filling suits to everyone. Factors like the extent of the repair, whether you have allergies to certain materials or not, the area needs to be filled, the cost, etc. determine which filling is best for you. And if decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown, or cap, may be recommended.
The various types of fillings are as follows:
- Gold fillings are prepared in a laboratory and then cemented into place. Gum tissues well absorb gold inlays and last more than 20 years. For these reasons, it is considered as the best filling material. Still, it is the most expensive choice and requires multiple visits.
- Amalgam (silver) fillings are reluctant to get bonded and relatively inexpensive. However, they are vividly visible. They are not used in distinct areas, such as front teeth.
- Composite (plastic) resins are matched with the natural teeth color and used where a natural appearance is required. But it may not be the ideal material for large fillings, as it may chip or wear over time. And also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco, and do not last as long.
- Porcelain fillings, also called Inlays or Onlays and are prepared in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They come like the natural tooth color whose cost is similar to gold.
Who Needs A Dental Filling?
Anything that looks abnormal needs to be carefully checked with special instruments. The dentist may X-ray your entire mouth or a section of it based on the extent of damage caused by decay. Only a dentist can determine whether you have a cavity that needs to be filled by using a small mirror to check the surfaces of each tooth.
How Does A Dental Filling Happen?
At first, the dentist gives local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth to be filled. After that, a drill, air abrasion instrument, or laser will be used to eradicate the affected area. The selection of a device may depend on the individual dentist’s comfort level, training, tooth location, and extent of the decay.
Then, the dentist tests the area to make sure if all the decay has been removed to make the space for the filling by removing the cavity of bacteria and debris. And if the decline is near the root, the dentist will first protect the nerve. After the filling is in, he/she will finish and polish it. But various additional steps may be done in tooth-colored fillings and are as follows. The tooth-colored material is applied in layers once the cleaning is done. After this, a special light has applied that cures or hardens each layer. When the multilayering process is over, the dentist usually gives a shape to get the desired outcome, trims off any excess material, and polishes the final restoration.
Post Dental Filling Care
It would be best if you visited your dentist regularly for cleanings, brushing with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, and flossing at least once daily. Also, good oral hygiene practices are mandatory for patients. And if the dentist suspects that a filling might be cracked or is leaking, he or she will take X-rays to examine the situation during the visits. You need to check if your tooth is susceptible if you feel a strong edge if you observe a crack in the filling, or if a piece of the mixture is missing, it calls for a hospital visit.
Hence, if you want to achieve the normal functioning of your damaged tooth, the filling is a way to restore it. As several dental filling materials are available these days, you need to discuss with your dentist regarding the selection of your filling. The area and extent of the decay, cost of filling, insurance coverage, etc. are analyzed by the dentist before recommending the type of filling that will best address your needs. Most importantly, almost all dental insurance plans cover the cost of the composites up to the price of the silver filling, and then the patient must pay the difference amount. Regarding its loopholes, tooth sensitivity and pain are common problems after having a dental filling. For a successful mixture, you need to choose a trained dentist wisely.
At Dr. Mohamed Ali’s office, San Francisco, he will thoroughly assess your mouth before recommending filling for you, considering your dental issues. If required, he might suggest some alternatives which are best suited for your needs. The billing experts will inspect your insurance benefits and will offer you a complete treatment plan with all the necessary arrangements. Every major dental and medical PPO insurances are accepted, including Medicare. There is also an in-office Plan for Health for those who don’t have any insurance. Also, we have partnered with various financial institutions like The Lending Club, Care Credit, Healthcare Finance Solutions to make your treatment extremely affordable. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. So sit, relax, and get sparkling white teeth. Call us today to schedule your consultation. You can reach us at 415.391.7751.