Dental Fillings: Types, Procedures, and Risks

Dental Fillings: Types, Procedures, and Risks

Dental fillings are restorative dental treatments used to restore the integrity and function of the teeth affected by cavity or trauma.

When Are Dental Fillings Used?

These dental restorative treatments have been used for years to save countless teeth. It is a common misconception that dental fillings are used to fix tooth spaces after a tooth is drilled. However, other reasons can warrant a tooth filling.

1. Cavities

Dental cavities come in different sizes, and not all will require a filling. Dental fillings are ideally designed to stop the spread of decay to the surrounding teeth. However, if the decay is severe, the tooth may instead need to be extracted, especially if the jawbone is severely damaged.

2. Holes in your teeth

Not all dental holes are caused by cavities, and they may not be painful. However, when you come for your dental checkup, the dentist may fill your teeth to seal the holes. Tiny holes can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which, if ignored can cause infections and decay.

3. Tooth fracture

Dental fractures are caused by various reasons such as accidents, falls, and chewing hard foods. Tiny fractures can be rectified using dental filling. However, in severe cases, the dentist may recommend a tooth extraction to prevent infection.

4. Tooth discoloration

Teeth become discolored with time due to the food and beverages we consume. Although professional teeth whitening is an ideal treatment, dental fillings can work too in concealing the stains.

What Are Types of Dental Fillings Can I Use?

Many dental filling options are available and all have their pros and cons. The dentist will choose the right filling for you based on the cost of filling, the size of the cavity and your preference.

  • Amalgam fillings

Dental amalgam or silver filling is a mixture of metal made of liquid mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Today, amalgam is used less often because of the availability of other tooth-colored materials. Amalgam is less costly and is more long-lasting than the other filling materials.

Although people have been reserved about mercury, the FDA has cleared the dental filling and concluded that the fillings are safe for use for people six years and above.

Gold and silver amalgam are commonly used fillings. Most people prefer gold over silver, though gold fillings cost ten times more. Metal amalgam is more durable and lasts for more between ten to 15 years.

  • Ceramic

Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain– a tooth-colored material that is stain resistant. However, it costs as much as the gold fillings.

  • Composite fillings

Composite or resins filling is made of either glass or quartz which is altered to match the tooth color. Composite can get discolored over time.

What to Expect

Dental filling procedure is short and fast—lasts for one to two hours. The dentist will use local anesthesia to numb your mouth. Next, they will remove decay and clean off the tooth before covering it with the chosen dental filling. Finally, the dentist will polish the tooth.

Are There Any Risks?

Certain dental problems may develop after the filling such as;

  • Tooth sensitivity and pain are common after a dental procedure. The sensitivity will reduce within a few weeks. During this period, avoid taking food that causes sensitivity. Contact our dentist if the tooth sensitivity doesn’t clear after one or two weeks.
  • Dental filling deterioration. Constant chewing, grinding and clenching of the teeth will wear the filling down. If the filling break, it creates room for bacteria to grow. You may not notice when the filling is wearing down, only a dentist can. So, make sure you come for your dental checkups regularly—at least twice a year.
  • An allergic reaction is rare, but can still occur. If you are allergic to any of the fillings, the dentist can use other restorative dental treatments.

The dental fillings are durable if done by an experienced dentist. If you are looking for dental fillings in Houston, call, EZ Dental clinic to schedule a consultation with our dentist.