Cavities are extremely common and consist of decayed areas that develop as tiny openings in the teeth. They are painful and destructive not only for the affected tooth but for the neighboring teeth as well. Fillings treat teeth affected by cavities.
Fillings also treat cracked, broken, and teeth worn down due to bruxism or nail-biting. Elliott Dentistry has dental expertise to help you through the process and need for fillings.
Procedure for Dental Fillings
Before starting the procedure, the oral cavity is entirely examined through x-rays for any underlying issues. If present, they are treated before the procedure.
The affected area is anesthetized, and our dentist will use an air abrasion tool, a drill, or a laser to take off the decayed area of the tooth. The type of equipment used depends on the dentist's comfort and skill with a particular tool. This also depends on the extent of the damage.
After this, the dentist will probe the tooth to check if the decay is completely removed or not. Once removed, the dentist will prepare the tooth for filling by cleaning it and making it free of germs and debris.
If the decay is near the root, the dentist places a liner made up of composite resin or other material to protect the nerve. The tooth is then filled in through layering.
Our dentist will apply the filling material in layers, and each layer will be hardened separately by using a special light. Once complete, the dentist will smooth out and polish the final restoration. The filling is also trimmed for any sharp edges and excess material.
Types of Dental Filling Materials
Different types of materials for fillings are gold, silver amalgam, porcelain, tooth-colored, and composite resin fillings. They can also be made up of ceramics and glass ionomers. Details of some of the materials mentioned above are discussed below.
Gold fillings, ceramics, and silver amalgams are the most durable types and last for at least ten to fifteen years. They can withstand chewing and biting on hard edible food because of their extraordinary strength. Ceramics are made up of porcelain and are more stain-resistant as compared to other tooth-colored materials.
Tooth-colored composites match the natural teeth's color closely and provide extra support because of their micro-mechanical bonding to the tooth structure. They can also be used for repairing chipped, broken, or worn-out teeth. When preparing the tooth for filling, a lesser tooth structure is removed for tooth-colored composite fillings.
Glass ionomer fillings are made up of acrylic and a particular type of glass material. They are commonly used for fillings below the gumline. They release fluoride, which prevents further decay. However, it has a shorter life expectancy of five years compared to other materials.
Caring for Teeth With Dental Fillings
Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for ensuring proper filling care. The individual should brush their teeth twice daily, floss them once and use anti-bacterial mouthwash regularly. The individual should immediately consult an expert if they experience a loose, cracked, or leaky filling, sharp edges, or a deteriorating filling. For further information and queries regarding fillings, our experts at Elliott Dentistry can be contacted through 971-274-4360.