Your regular dental visits and vigorous tooth cleaning efforts will cut down decay and cavities a great deal. However, sometimes teeth still develop holes even when you try your best to prevent them from occurring. A tooth filling may be necessary if the dentist notices that you have a cavity on one of your teeth from decay. The following is some information about cavities that can help you decide whether you would like to have that as a source of treatment.
A Little About Tooth Fillings
The term “filling” sounds exactly like what it is. A tooth filling is an element that fills in the hole that develops on your tooth when the decay eats into the enamel. Fillings are necessary for several reasons. First, they can cover up the exposed area so that you don’t have sensitivity or pain. Fillings can also prevent cavities from expanding or getting bigger. In some cases, fillings can maintain a tooth’s integrity. In other words, it can preserve the beauty of a tooth that has a hole in it. Fillings are a dentist’s first choice before he resorts to something like a root canal or an extraction.
Types of Tooth Fillings
There are many types of tooth fillings from which you can choose, and each type has its benefits and its negative side. The #1 filling type is the old-school amalgam filling. The amalgam filling has a mixture of silver, mercury, copper, zinc and tin. The amalgam filling is the most inexpensive filling, and it can last up to 15 years. Amalgam fillings can also last through harsh chewing circumstances. The negative side is that they contain mercury.
Composite filling are popular because the dentist can precisely match them to the color of one’s tooth. They are very helpful in the front areas of the mouth. People who have front-facing job positions are likely to desire composite fillings. The down side to composite fillings is that they may only last for about five years instead of 15. They are not as durable as amalgam fillings when it comes to chewing either.
Gold fillings are a highly popular type of filling for people who like luxury items. They are about as strong as amalgam fillings are, and they can withstand harsh chewing circumstances. The negative side to gold fillings is that they are expensive and may require more than one dental visit.
The Process of Getting a Tooth Filling
Getting a tooth filling usually takes only one dental visit. The first thing the dentist will do is let you rinse out your mouth. Next, he or she will apply a numbing agent to your gums in the appropriate section. The filling job will require an anesthetic. The dentist will most likely inject some lidocaine into your gums and wait until you are numb before he starts the procedure. First, the dentist will drill into your tooth and clean the inside of the cavity as much as possible. Once the area is clean, the dentist will apply the filling and then have you bite down on a bit to make sure that the filling seals itself properly. He may also use a laser on the filling. A proper filling should last you for many years.
Scheduling an Appointment Today
Schedule an appointment for an examination today if you think you need a filling in your mouth. The dentist will schedule an examination and consultation. You can get to know the specialist, and then the two of you can work together to come up with an appropriate game plan.