What Are Dental Fillings?

What Are Dental Fillings?

Jan 04, 2021

When you have a tooth that is decayed, chipped, broken, or worn down, what are your emergency options for restoration? A radical approach is the use of dental implants or dentures to replace it altogether. However, there is a simpler process to get your smile back. At a dental clinic in Vernon, you can get your dental fillings done.

Dental fillings are substances used to fill in the holes or gaps in decayed, broken, or damaged teeth. It’s as simple as it sounds. A dentist refills the missing part of the teeth to restore the structure and appearance. This process is routine care in dentistry. At the dental clinic in Vernon, a dentist will clean out the affected part of a tooth first. Next, they’ll fill the area with a material decided on by you and them. Restoring your teeth shape and structure will make chewing easier. The risk of further damage in tooth decay or loss of the tooth becomes very low. In this article, we’ll see all that the process entails.

When Do We Need Dental Fillings?

During tooth decay, cavities form in the tooth. If this hole is still within the enamel and has not affected the inner pulp of the teeth, the tooth is viable for a filling. The inner pulp of the teeth contains blood vessels and nerves. Accidents can occur leaving a person with broken teeth. The part where the enamel has been chipped off can be filled. This prevents possible decay. Worn out or eroded teeth also qualify for a dental filling. You cannot fill a cavity at home, hence visit the dental clinic in Vernon to get it done.

How Is A Tooth Filled?

Your dentist will give a local anesthetic to numb the gum around the affected tooth. Next, they clean out the affected areas, wash and dry the tooth. The material chosen for the filling will be used to fill up the prepared area. This restores the tooth structure. Your dentist will ask you to bite to see if any alterations are needed. It is a simple procedure that no one should dread. Delaying treatment can worsen decay hence it is best you get it done now.

What Kind Of Material Can Be Used To Fill?

In choosing a material, your dentist considers the location of the tooth to be filled, the durability of the material, aesthetics, and your budget. Your options are explained to you, enabling you to make an informed decision. Let’s see what these options often are.

Silver Amalgam fillings are the most common kind. The material is a mixture of silver, tin, zinc, and copper, and mercury. It’s very popular because it lasts long and is affordable. A proper silver amalgam filling can last up to 12 years or more. It is easy to fill in and there are no issues of contamination with blood or saliva. However, it has some disadvantages. They’re quite distinct and not the kind of filling you want for a visible tooth. Moreover, the material can start to expand over time causing a tooth to crack. This is a potential site for the formation of new cavities if food and bacteria start filling these cracks. A silver amalgam filling is not recommended for certain populations because of the high mercury component. This includes pregnant and nursing women, children below 6, and people with kidney disease or mercury allergies.

Composite fillings are the kind that won’t get noticed. The material is soft resin and plastic that is hardened after filling with a bright blue light. It’s a top choice for filling visible teeth because the color can be matched with other teeth. They’re not as durable as silver amalgam fillings. Within 5-10 years, you will need a replacement. They’re pricier too.

Ceramic fillings are another option for visible teeth. They’re pricier and more resistant to staining and abrasion than composite resin. However, ceramic is brittle. They are made larger to prevent breakage and this means extra tooth space is needed.

Glass ionomer fillings are great for children due to ongoing changes in their teeth. They release fluoride which serves as protection against decay. They’re weaker than all other options. They also don’t match tooth color as accurately as composite resin.

Gold fillings are the most expensive option, of course. It’s a luxury option and is almost always a choice of the patient. They can last up to 20 years or more.

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