The Different Types and Importance of Dental Fillings
Dental health is a critical part of living a healthier and happier life. Maintaining oral hygiene helps keep your mouth clean and prevent oral problems such as bad breath and cavities. Despite technological advancements in dental hygiene, tooth decay has been a problem for many children and adults. If not properly treated, tooth decay can lead to serious oral health problems such as abscessed or failing teeth.
Tooth fillings help repair broken or damaged teeth improving their normal functioning and appearance. They help fill spaces where bacteria may enter, stopping the progression of tooth decay.
Types of Tooth Fillings
Depending on your preferences, various options are available for tooth fillings. Our dentist at Milestone Family Dentistry will assess your dental health and discuss the perfect tooth filling option for you:
- Amalgam fillings
These are made from a combination of metals, including silver, tin, and copper. Amalgam fillings are strong and sturdy and ideal for filling cavities in the back of the mouth where chewing takes place.
- Composite fillings
These feature a combination of strong plastic and glass particles created to match the color of your teeth. Composite fillings are perfect for small to mid-size replacements in areas of your mouth that need to withstand moderate chewing.
- Ceramic fillings
These are tooth-colored fillings usually made of porcelain. Ceramic tooth fillings are more resistant to staining and are aesthetically pleasing.
- Glass ionomer
This paste of acrylic and glass is used to form a tight seal between the damaged tooth and its surrounding environment. A glass ionomer filling acts as a sealant, enabling the tooth to remain protected.
What to Expect During a Tooth Filling?
Our professional in general dentistry will assess your dental as well as overall health. They will evaluate the affected area and may take x-rays if needed. Before filling the cavities, your dentist will numb the area to be treated, including your teeth, gums, and surrounding skin. This helps lessen discomfort during the filling process. Next, your dental practitioner will remove the decay and replace the decayed parts with a filling.
After the tooth filling process is complete, your mouth may remain numb for a few more hours. During this time, you should be mindful of what you eat and drink. Avoid chewing on the numbed areas. You should visit a dentist immediately you experience the following symptoms:
Sometimes, a tooth filling may pull away from the attached tooth creating a small space. This may attract bacteria causing additional tooth decay.
A tooth filling may crack, break or fall out. Biting down on something hard may cause damage to a filling. See a dentist immediately you notice damage to your tooth filling.
Importance of Dental Fillings
Despite maintaining oral hygiene practices, your teeth may still be exposed to tooth decay. This may be caused by various factors such as sugary drinks to the food you eat. Visiting a dentist will help detect early signs of infection and help avoid future costly procedures. You should get a tooth filling immediately you notice them or as soon as your dentist informs you about them.
- Maintain a healthy smile
Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you while socializing. Decayed teeth may damage your smile and lower your confidence while interacting with others. Tooth fillings are made to resemble your natural teeth. They help maintain your smile and allow you to remain confident while talking each day.
- Prevent tooth decay
Tooth decay can lead to oral infections if left untreated. Tooth fillings are required to prevent the progression of tooth decay once it has developed. They help the tooth stay connected while restoring the bite function.
- Alleviate pain and discomfort
Cavities may cause sensitivity to extreme cold or hot foods and beverages. Composite fillings help protect the nerves where decay is present, reducing discomfort. They enable you to consume foods and beverages without worrying about suffering from tooth sensitivity.
- Prevent infections
Bacteria in the mouth may spread to the tooth’s pulp, causing infection. Infections may spread to other teeth and areas of the body, putting your health at risk. Tooth fillings help close off spaces where bacteria may invade, reducing your risk of infections.
- Improved teeth functionality
Cavities develop into tiny holes and openings and may make chewing difficult. Eating might be less painful if you consider getting a tooth filling for your decayed tooth.