Dental Fillings: What Are They and When Do You Need Them?

Dental Fillings: What Are They and When Do You Need Them?

Jan 01, 2021

Dental fillings are dental procedures beneficial for restoring a part of a tooth damaged by decay. The filling aims to remove the decayed area in the tooth, clean it, and fill the vacant space with the filling material to restore the tooth to its original shape and everyday functionality.

Dentists recommend a dental filling for every small or medium cavity needing dental attention. The filling procedure is an excellent way to preserve the living tooth structure by removing decay that has set in. Learn more about dental fillings in this article to keep yourself abreast of methods to restore decayed teeth.

How Do Dentists Identify Whether You Need a Filling?

The most common signs of a cavity or tooth decay are pain and sensitivity around the area of the affected tooth by food getting trapped between the teeth. You must immediately call your dentist as you experience the pain or when hot or cold foods cause lingering sensitivity. You experience discomfort because a cavity is extensive, and it is important to receive prompt attention when confronting an emergency.

Do not consider over-the-counter numbing medications or painkillers to alleviate the pain you experience but schedule an appointment with West Humber Dentistry right away to deal with the throbbing pain in your tooth. When you reach the dentist’s office, expect the professional to perform some simple tests.

The dentist initially performs a visual assessment and look around your mouth and around the area where you experience the pain. The dentist looks for signs of a cavity, discoloration, or cracks, or any other rough spots on your teeth.

After completing the visual assessment, the dentist will use tiny instruments to poke and tap on your teeth gently. Different types of decay will react differently to the device. It is an excellent method to determine the severity of your tooth decay. After the visual assessment, the probing helps the dentist identify any other teeth that need further examination for issues other than cavities.

The dentist takes x-rays of your mouth after the visual assessment to obtain an in-depth image of your teeth. X-rays allow the dentist to determine if there are a cavity and the severity of the condition affecting you. If a hole is detected, the dentist recommends a dental filling if remineralization chances are not present.

What Kind of Dental Filling Can You Get?

Dental Fillings in Rexdale, ON, provides different types of fillings, including amalgam fillings used for over 150 years, composite resin fillings, and porcelain fillings. You can choose the material for the filling during a consultation with the dentist filling your teeth. The dentist can offer recommendations for the teeth filling after considering the location and the biting forces that the tooth would be subject to. The dentist ensures you have the most suitable dental filling material in your mouth to restore the full functionality of your tooth.

What to Expect When Getting Dental Fillings?

First of all, your dentist numbs the area receiving the filling with local anesthesia. After about 10 minutes, the dentist begins the procedure of removing the decay in your tooth. After the decay is removed, the tooth is cleaned thoroughly to ensure no bacteria remains within.

The second stage of the filling procedure is designing the dental filling according to the size, shape, and angles from where the decay was eliminated. If you are having cosmetic resin or porcelain fillings, much of the tooth structure is not removed. However, if you have amalgam fillings, this variety requires tooth structure removal to fit appropriately.

If the cavity is between two teeth, the dentist must separate one of the teeth with a band failing which the filling material glues the teeth together, making cleaning and flossing challenging.

After completing the filling procedure, the dentist will carefully polish the filled area and shape it to fit well with the other teeth. The dentist also performs a bike check to ensure the filling does not hit the opposing teeth improperly.

Are Dental Fillings Long-Lasting?

Dental fillings are as long-lasting as you maintain excellent dental hygiene practices. However, different materials have varying lengths of time and will eventually need replacements. Amalgam fillings last for around ten years, composite fillings for three to five years, and porcelain fillings for 10 to 15 years.

You can prolong the lifespan of your fillings by caring for your teeth correctly and visiting your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. If you are affected by clenching and grinding your teeth, it will help you discuss with the dentist about having a nightguard to protect your restorations. Dental fillings won’t last year forever, but they undoubtedly provide your teeth the strength and functionality it needs for quite a long time.

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