Dental fillings are a common procedure used to treat cavities or tooth decay. Fillings are used in order to prevent minor decay from rapidly spreading bacteria into the tooth’s pulp.
You may need a filling for any of the following reasons:
- You have chipped teeth.
- There is space between two teeth.
- Cracked/broken teeth.
- Decayed or worn teeth.
Dental tooth fillings are a restorative treatment, used to improve the appearance and functionality of teeth affected by damage or decay. The filling materials, which can be made from several different substances, help to even out tooth surfaces for more efficient biting and chewing. Dental fillings can last for many years and help keep the tooth looking and functioning at its best.
Types of Dental Fillings
Composite fillings are made of a glass or quartz filler within a resin medium that produces a tooth-colored material. Also known as filled resins, composites are often used in small to mid-size restorations, as they provide strength, durability and resistance to fracture. In addition, the shade of composite fillings is made to closely match the patient's actual teeth, so that other people will not be aware that dental work has been done.
Glass ionomers are also tooth-colored fillings that are made of a mixture of acrylic and glass, and are most often used in young children, because they release fluoride. This material is weaker than composites and usually lasts less than five years before a replacement is needed.
Amalgam fillings have been used for many years and are considered strong, durable and relatively inexpensive compared to other materials. Although strong and effective, many patients do not choose to use amalgam fillings because the silver color can be visible while eating, speaking or smiling.
The procedure itself takes up to an hour, which makes it relatively quick. Local anesthesia is applied to numb the area so that you are comfortable throughout the process. The filling is placed specifically to the shape and function of your tooth.
Discuss Your Options With Our Dentist
We will gladly provide you with an exam to review if you need a dental filling. For more information on dental fillings, please contact our office.