Although fillings are considered a minor dental procedure it is still considered a restorative dental surgery. Fillings are used to help maintain both the integrity of the tooth as well as the shape of it when it has been damaged by decay. Tooth decay is the most common cause of a cavity. This is usually brought on by poor oral hygiene, meaning the patient did not brush and floss with regularity. At other times when patients eat highly acidic foods or beverages, it can lead to a cavity. Placing a filling is an easy procedure that usually takes less than fifteen minutes to complete.
Do I Need a Filling?
Any patient who has had a cavity identified either while getting a routine cleaning or by self-examination needs to get a filling. Anyone with a soft spot on a tooth or a chipped tooth can also greatly benefit from having a filling placed. This damage is easy to mitigate and can stop any further decay or damage from occurring.
Most people think fillings are merely used to fill cavities, but they have been used in a wide variety of treatments. They can repair a cracked or fractured tooth as well.
Why Get a Filling?
It is important to have cavities filled as soon as possible. If they are untreated, they develop into far worse problems which can lead to expensive and invasive procedures to correct the damage.
Without filling the cavity, the decay will continue to fester, infecting the interior of the tooth which can cause the patient incredible pain. Other cavities can lead to a tooth becoming abscessed which can lead to a gum infection which can, in turn, infect the jawbones.
How to Place a Filling
Our office will use a local anesthetic to adequately numb the area of the tooth and gum to lower the level of discomfort the patient experiences during the procedure. Once the patient is properly numbed, our well-trained staff will remove any remaining pieces of the decayed tooth at the cavity site. Once all the damaged tissue is removed from the tooth, the cavity is filled with a paste-like substance which can be pressed into the opening in the tooth to stop the decay.
There are a couple of different materials used as fillings. The most widely used one is called amalgam. This is used the most frequently because of its low cost. It is made from several different metals and has a metallic appearance. It is the longest-lasting of the two materials used for fillings however, it is also the most noticeable. The second material used for fillings is composite resin. It does not appear metallic and is far less visible. It can also be tinted to match the surrounding teeth to make it blend in more than amalgam fillings.
Any patient who is dealing with tooth decay and has been diagnosed with a cavity why not come in to see us so we can address the situation. Patients can also reach us by by phone 206-791-2020.