What to Expect When Getting Tooth Fillings
Dental fillings are a restorative dental treatment used on areas of a tooth that are affected by decay. The approach of the treatment is to get rid of the decayed area in a tooth, properly clean it and then fill the space left behind to ensure that the tooth retains its normal shape and function. Tooth fillings can be made from a range of materials and usually your dentist will advise you on which type of fillings are most suitable for your condition.
At The Dental Spa, before getting patients on the treatment, we first run a comprehensive exam to come up with a proper diagnosis. Once it has been determined that your condition can be effectively treated with fillings, we will lay out the treatment procedure for you so that you know what to expect and to also help you voice your concerns and worries. Our dentists usually recommend use of dental fillings for minor tooth fractures and decay. in case your tooth is severely decayed or damaged, other restorative treatments such as dental crown and implants can be used.
Tooth filling is usually performed under local anesthesia which helps numb the area being treated. Once you are sedated the next step is to prepare the damaged or decayed area of the tooth for restoration. The dentist may use a laser or hand-piece to carefully remove the damaged parts of the tooth and the apply an acid gel to cleanse the area and get rid of any remaining bacteria or debris. Afterwards the filling material is applied onto the area. The technique used to apply the filling will usually vary depending on the type of filling being used.
Types of Tooth Fillings
Amalgam Fillings:These are very common especially among adults and have been used for more than 150 years. They are effective in treating cavities but a big downside to them is that they change color over time. Amalgam fillings start out being very shiny but eventually turn to a dull gray and even black. They are also very distinct and may not be appealing to some]me patients, especially if they to placed on the front teeth. Although a durable and least expensive option, another disadvantage to dental amalgam fillings is the fact that you have to remove some part of good and healthy tooth, just to make the design of the filling metal better.
Composite Resin: These types of fillings feature composition of glass and acrylic resin and are a great choice when you want something discreet. They can be used at the front teeth and their color can be easily matched to that of your natural teeth. However, composite resin fillings do not last long and you may have to invest in a repeat procedure within 3 to 10 years. It is advisable to use them on small cavities.
Porcelain: These are a great choice for many patients as they are aesthetically pleasing and at the same time durable. They are generally costly and might require multiple dental visits to complete. However, advancements in technology and medical techniques have made it possible to have the fillings finished in a single visit. Porcelain can be matched to the color of your teeth and are resistant to stains from foods like coffee, tea and wine.
Gold Inlay/Onlay: This is the most expensive dental filling option available. it is a very durable, safe and effective method of filling a tooth. You will not be able to blend it with the color of your teeth but luckily gold fillings are well tolerated by the gum tissue and opposing teeth. The procedure for gold inlays/outlays is slightly different from other types of fillings. Instead of having the gold poured in to fill a cavity, it is cast from a mold of your tooth. it usually takes two dental visits to complete but thereafter lasts anywhere between 15 to 20 years. A good thing about gold fillings is that they wear out at the same rate as your teeth and thus you are less likely to have problems with your bite.