Tooth decay and cavities remain a huge oral health problem for many Americans today. When left untreated, tooth decay will lead to more serious dental health problems such as infections and failing teeth.
In order to treat a cavity, your dentist will have to remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then fill in the area on the tooth where the decayed material once was. Dental fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth that have been worn down from misuse or trauma. The following article will go over the different aspects of tooth filling that you will need to be aware of before treatment.
Benefits of a Tooth Filling
1. Preventing Cavities
When you get a dental filling, our dentist will clean out the decayed part of your tooth and then pour in the filling material, sealing the space left behind by the cavity. This filling will protect the nerve endings in your tooth from being affected by fluctuating temperatures and acids created by bacteria in your mouth. Protecting your tooth and surrounding teeth from further decay or infection.
2. Improves the structure of the tooth
Instead of the tooth being hollowed out by the cavity and susceptible to fracturing, the filling will give the structure of your tooth solid support. With a cavity filling, there is no damage done to your tooth during its application.
3. Strengthens fractured teeth
Fillings can also be used to repair a fractured tooth. A white composite is often used for this purpose. Teeth can become fractured due to severe trauma or chewing on hard things like ice or hard candies. Your teeth will become weaker as you age and therefore become more vulnerable to chips and fractures. Dental fillings are a good solution for this eventuality.
We Use Composite Dental Fillings
Composite fillings, also known as direct fillings, are made with a tooth-colored adhesive-like material and are applied to your tooth directly. It has a multifaceted composition that includes a light-sensitive element that cures to shape the hard-filling material when applying a high-powered light. Composite fillings are applied into your mouth directly, making them look like natural teeth. This is the most common and recommended type of dental filling.
What to Expect from a Tooth Filling
Prior to a cavity filling treatment, our dentist will first numb the area to be treated. He will begin the numbing process by applying topical anesthesia to the area before injecting it with an anesthetic. After your mouth has been sufficiently numbed, our dentist will remove the decay with a drill and then replace the area where decay used to be with a filling.
Once the tooth has been properly prepared we will apply the first layer of composite resin over the tooth. The resin is moldable so we can easily shape and contour it once it’s applied. Then the layer is hardened with a dental light. Once we have applied enough layers to completely fill the tooth, we will polish the resin to protect the material from staining and to match the sheen of the rest of the tooth.
After completing the filling process, your mouth may remain numb for at least a couple of hours. Nothing to worry about, this is a normal occurrence as the anesthetic will gradually wear off. However, while the numbing wears off it’s important to be cautious of what you eat and drink. You will want to avoid hot food or drinks to keep from burning your mouth or chewing on the numbed areas.
Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures may be a common occurrence after having a tooth filled. This sensitivity should resolve within a few days after the procedure. The dentist may recommend toothpaste to help you with the discomfort.
Is a Dental Filling the Right Treatment for Me?
If our El Paso, TX, general dentist discovers a cavity they will want to treat the issue quickly with a dental filling. Composite dental fillings are great because they can be matched to the shade of your teeth so that they are completely unnoticeable. However, every patient’s teeth are different, and the extent of their oral health will determine the necessary treatment. Our dentist will go over every option that is available to you for your own personal situation.
Schedule a Dental Filling Consultation Today!
Knowledge is essential to overcoming any dental anxiety you may have. For more information about the filling process, or to discuss any other dental concerns, contact us today! You can call us at (915) 263-8333, or visit our Contact Us page to send a message. We look forward to hearing from you!