Fillings are one of the ways which dentists use to help restore damaged teeth to their original strength and shape. Fillings are also one of the most common dental procedures in the United States and are critical for maintaining proper oral health in patients where damage has occurred. At Florida Dental Solutions, our dental professionals are experts at providing our patients with excellent dental care in an environment which is friendly, comfortable and welcoming. If you need a filling, give us a call today at (954) 362-4102.
Reasons for Needing Dental Fillings
Cavities are the number one reason for dental fillings. That doesn’t mean that all cavities require fillings, however. Your dentist will be able to quickly determine if your cavity needs repairing right away.
When teeth crack, chip, or break, it’s possible to fix them with a filling. Often, composite fillings are chosen, as they provide the appearance of a complete tooth.
Replacing Old Fillings
Just because you had a filling applied in the past does not mean that it will last forever. Fillings may become dislodged, fractured, or simply wear out over time due to usage or other factors. Many fillings may require replacement every 10 to 15 years, depending on the material used and the wear and tear on the filling itself.
Types of Fillings
While the process for getting a filling is relatively uniform and straightforward, the types of fillings available vary greatly. No one type of filling is right for everyone. There may be any number of issues which may affect how a filling material is determined, including aesthetics, durability, cost, insurance, or allergies. To make the most informed decision about which filling material is right for you, it is best to discuss all options with your dental professional.
Silver in appearance, amalgam fillings are the time-tested fillings that are familiar to most people. Amalgam refers to a mixture of metals, which in the case of fillings are copper, silver, tin, and mercury. In fact, mercury amounts for half of the make-up of amalgam fillings, as it acts as a bonding agent for the other metals, creating a strong, durable filling material. There are several pros and cons associated with traditional amalgam fillings:
- Amalgam fillings have been used for over one hundred years, meaning they have been proven effective with time.
- Amalgam fillings last on average 10 to 15 years, meaning you do not have to replace them as often as composite fillings. Also, amalgam fillings are much less expensive than composite fillings.
- Amalgam fillings are much more noticeable than composite fillings, as they are metallic in color.
- Because of the combinations of metals found in amalgam fillings, some individuals may be allergic or sensitive to them.
Resin, or composite, fillings are a compound of plastic and ceramic. Also known as white fillings, composite fillings blend in with the natural tooth, providing an invisible appearance. Like amalgam fillings, composite ones have many benefits and drawbacks:
- Unlike amalgam fillings, composite fillings are the same color as your natural teeth, meaning they are practically invisible.
- Composite resin is much more flexible than the metals in amalgam fillings, meaning that less drilling is required and more of the original tooth is retained.
- Resin easily bonds to teeth.
- Composite fillings require replacement more often than amalgam fillings. Composite fillings usually last between five and seven years.
- The process of installing a composite filling is much more time consuming than an amalgam filling.
Another type of tooth filling that is popular with patients is gold fillings. Gold fillings are metallic and often have impressive durability. Like other types of fillings, gold fillings have their benefits and their drawbacks:
- Gold offers impressive durability when compared to other filling materials. Gold fillings generally will last 10-15 years with proper dental hygiene and care.
- Will not erode, unlike amalgam fillings.
- Gold fillings stay in place much longer than resin or composite based fillings.
- Gold fillings are much more expensive than amalgam or composite fillings, due to the costs associated with the rare metal.
- Gold fillings are also more visible than other fillings.
- They also generally take much longer to apply than either amalgam or composite fillings.
- This includes two visits – one to put on a temporary filling and a second, where the temporary filling is replaced with the gold filling.
- If a dentist places a gold filling next to an amalgam filling, it may cause “galvanic shock,” which occurs when saliva and the metals form an electric current. This can cause severe or sharp pain in patients.
Tooth Fillings Procedure
If you require a tooth filling, there is a fairly straightforward set of procedures you can expect during the process.
The initial step in the process of applying a tooth fitting is the application of a local anesthetic. This is done so that the area around the tooth in question, including the nerves and gums, are numbed throughout the procedure.
Preparation for Restoration
Once the area is numb, the dentist can begin the restoration of the tooth’s integrity. This begins with the removal of the damaged part of the tooth. This usually done either with a drill or a laser. A topical acid gel is generally used afterward to clean the affected area and to remove any remaining bacteria or debris which may be present.
Application of the Filling
Once all damaged parts of the tooth are removed from the affected area, along with any bacteria, the tooth is ready for the filling to be applied. This process differs depending upon the type of filling material used. Composite fillings, for example, require the isolation of the affected tooth, in order to prevent any moisture from interfering with the bonding process. As detailed above, gold fillings require a two-step process.
If You Need Dental Work, Dental Solutions Is Here to Help
Cavities and damaged teeth can be painful. However, visiting a dentist shouldn’t be. At Florida Dental Solutions, we strive to make getting dental work a pleasant experience. We specialize in providing our clients comprehensive dental care at affordable prices. If you are looking to say goodbye to dental problems, then give us a call today at (954) 362-4102.
Helping you improve your smile and maintain your oral health.
6902 Stirling Road
Davie, Florida 33024
Monday – Wednesday: 9am – 5pm
Saturday: 9am – 3pm
Available 24/7 for emergencies