Ins & Outs of Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are one way for dentists to stop the progress of tooth decay. However, they can also help fix cracked or broken teeth. You may not think that you should know anything about dental fillings. But, one in four adults will need a dental filling before the age of 65. So, the more you know about dental fillings, the more prepared you will be. 

3d render of dental fillings in teeth dentist in Owings Mills Maryland

Filling Process

Dentists typically use dental fillings to fix cavities. The first step will be for your dentist to numb the area. This will involve a small injection of a local anesthetic. Luckily, this means that you won’t feel any part of the procedure moving forward. Once your gums are numb, your dentist will continue with the filling process. 

Next, your dentist will use a drill to remove the decayed portion of your tooth. Once this is complete, your dentist thoroughly cleans the tooth. This ensures that there are not any remaining bacteria in your tooth before they completely fill it. This is a crucial step to avoid infection or further decay. 

With the decay gone, your dentist can begin filling the cavity. If you get a tooth-colored composite filling, it will need an extra curing step to set it. Finally, your dentist shapes and polishes the filling. They will also make sure that the filling fits the shape of your teeth, ensuring comfort and function. 

Types of Fillings

A popular type of dental filling is composite resin. With composite fillings, you cannot identify the filling once it is complete. This is because the resin is tooth-colored, so it blends with your remaining tooth. As a result, they provide support to the tooth. In addition, you can use composite resin to fix chips and breaks in your teeth. Compared to metal fillings, composite resins will save more of your tooth. 

Some complaints about composite fillings include chipping and longer time in the dental chair. While it does depend on the location of your filling, it is possible for it to chip off your tooth. Additionally, the composite filling process takes longer than other fillings. This is because the resin must cure with a special light. 

There are also metal fillings that you can choose. 

You can request a gold filling from your dentist. While gold fillings last longer than most, they are much more expensive. Unlike composite fillings, gold fillings do not blend with the color of your teeth. The aesthetics of the gold filling may be something you desire. However, many patients do not like how metal fillings show. 

Silver fillings have the same durability as gold fillings, but they can be cheaper than composite fillings. However, getting metal fillings involves removing more healthy portions of your tooth for the filling to fit correctly. In addition, silver fillings can leave a gray color on your teeth that you may not find attractive. 

Typically, dentists will use composite fillings; however, you can choose whichever filling is best for you.