Dental fillings are a standard procedure to fix damage from tooth decay. The process is relatively painless and is completed in about an hour. Cavities are common among adults and children in the United States. According to the National Institutes of health, adults aged between 20 and 64 have had holes in their mouths. The number of people with cavities in the United States is as high as 92 percent.
Dental fillings help prevent further decay and allows the teeth to function normally. If you want to learn more about the dental filling procedure and what to expect if scheduled for a filling, please continue reading this blog for the information you need.
Dental fillings are a relatively straightforward procedure. Your dentist examines your mouth using instruments to check the cavity. The professional may even x-ray the tooth or teeth to determine the extent of the decay affecting your tooth.
You receive local anesthesia to numb and prevent experiencing any pain. If you need the filling on the tooth surface, you may not require anesthesia. After your tooth is entirely numb, the dentist will likely use a dental drill to remove tooth decay from the enamel. Some less common techniques like using a laser or air abrasion tools are available but not used by most dentists.
After tooth decay removal, the dentist sterilizes your tooth and prepares the same for the filling. Some materials of dental fillings are hardened with light. Eventually, the dentist polishes the tooth and checks it to ensure your bite is correct.
You experience some soreness or sensitivity in the tooth after the numbing medication wears off but shouldn’t experience any pain. You must avoid incredibly hot or cold foods, and beverages are a couple of days, but the better part can eat normally.
Any dental clinic providing dental filling services offers different types of materials to fill cavities. Some of the most famous and widely used filling materials are the following:
In reality, silver-colored fillings are metal amalgams, a combination of mercury, silver, copper, and tin. Durability is the name of these fillings than tooth-colored material. They are affordable than other materials to fill cavities. Some people have expressed concerns about the mercury in the fillings, which is confirmed as a neurotoxin. However, no clinical evidence is available to prove silver amalgam fillings are harmful, although attempts are underway to phase them out.
Tooth-colored fillings or composites are a mix of glass and quartz particles and acrylic resin. The filling material is durable but is more expensive than metal amalgams.
Gold fillings are a mix of copper, gold, and other metals and incredibly durable while being expensive to the core. They are not aesthetically pleasing and require a couple of appointments for the filling because the dentist must have them fabricated in a lab after taking impressions of your tooth.
Porcelain fillings are as expensive as gold fillings but have the advantage of appearing aesthetically pleasing. These fillings are made in laboratories after your dentist takes impressions of your tooth.
The dental filling procedure requires an hour or less. Simple fillings require about 20 minutes, while larger or multiple fillings require longer.
The kind of material you choose the filling determines whether the time required is minimal or requires a second visit.
Composite resin fillings layered into your tooth require more time but are completed in a single visit. Some composites are made from impressions of your tooth and need a second visit for the bonding.
Gold or porcelain fillings, also known as inlays and Onlays, require two visits because the dentist cannot complete the procedure in one visit. During the first visit, your dentist removes the decay and takes impressions of your tooth for the dental laboratory to fabricate your filling. You can have the filling bonded to your tooth during the second visit.
If you need an older filling replaced, the dental fillings treatment requires the same time as the original filling or more, especially if the old filling material needs drilling out. The old filling and the cavity are cleaned before inserting the new filling material.
As can be seen, the dental filling procedure doesn’t require much time and is completed in a single visit depending on the material you have chosen to have on your teeth.