When a tooth needs repair, but it does not need to be completely removed, fillings are a practical treatment solution to preserve the most of the natural tooth as possible. Our dentists at Singing River Dentistry are expertly trained in using fillings to preserve and improve your natural smile.
What are Fillings?
A filling is a technique to treat a tooth that is worn down, broken, or misshapen due to decay, trauma, or habitual maltreatment. The process of filling a tooth cleans out the debris, bacteria, and other particles which may lead to cavities or infection and fill in those areas to prevent particles to return or to continue to grow.
How are Fillings Done
Our dentists will first perform a regular oral exam to look at the overall health of your gums and teeth. You will decide with our professionals whether a filling is the right treatment option for you. If it is, the dentist will prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the teeth and gums of any bacteria and debris. You will receive a local anesthetic to numb the area where the filling will be added. This anesthetic will be for your comfort, you will only feel pressure during the procedure, and no pain.
Depending on the type and place of the filling, our dentists will use one or a combination of the following tools: a dental drill, an air abrasion instrument, or a laser to remove the decayed part of the tooth. Once the decay is removed, we will test the area with a small metal probe to ensure the decay is no longer in the tooth. If the area of the tooth is no longer sticky, and your dentist can only feel the hard surface of your tooth, they know the decay is removed. Our dentists add the filling to the space cleared by the drill. The filling is then finished and polished off to give you a comfortable bite.
What is a Filling Made Of?
There are a few different options for the material of the filling. The materials include a metal (either gold or silver amalgam), porcelain, or a tooth-colored resin composite. The type of material used will depend on the location of the tooth and your personal preference.
How to Care for Dental Fillings
Following the procedure and short healing process, you take care of fillings just like your natural teeth. Routine brushing, flossing, and rinsing are recommended. You should also continue regular dental appointments and oral exams to monitor the success of the filling and to prevent the need for future fillings.
In some instances, a temporary filling is necessary. These last no more than a month, but can be beneficial when the actual permanent filling requires more than one appointment to be produced and placed. A temporary filling is also used following a root canal procedure to make sure the root is clean and dry after the procedure before putting in a permanent filling and crown. It can also be a tool used if you require emergency dental treatment due to a toothache or infection.
If you are currently experiencing discomfort from your teeth, or are unhappy with the look of your teeth over the years, call Singing River Dentistry today at (256) 562-4001. Our professionals want to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision on how best to treat your teeth.
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