Tooth Fillings 101: Everything You Need to Know Before Getting Them

Tooth Fillings 101: Everything You Need to Know Before Getting Them

August 15, 2021

When you have dental decay that does not extend to the other parts of the teeth, the dentist may recommend dental fillings in McKinney, TX. These are restorations used to repair damaged teeth and restore the function, integrity, and strength of the teeth.

Why Are Teeth Fillings Used?

The primary reason why a tooth filling dentist may use these restorations is to repair tooth cavities. Dental decay is a potentially dangerous problem that can damage the teeth if left untreated. If you have mild cavities that only affect the surface of the teeth, the dentist will remove the damaged parts and fill the teeth with fillings.

You may also need dental fillings if you have tiny cracks on the teeth and worn-down teeth. Bruxism or the constant grinding of the teeth can cause the teeth to wear down. Dental trauma may cause the teeth to crack and break, and you will need fillings to restore the appearance and the function of the teeth.

A dentist also uses teeth fillings to fill the teeth after a root canal procedure.

What Are the Signs You Need Teeth Fillings?

Usually, decay does not cause any symptoms in the early stages. However, as the infection progresses, you may begin to experience discomfort and tooth sensitivity to cold and hot substances, as well as sugary foods. Other symptoms include toothache, a hole in the tooth, and discoloration. If you notice these symptoms, it is crucial to visit a dentist near you for assessment to get the cavities removed on time.

What Are the Available Options?

The teeth fillings come in different versions, which include:

  • Silver or amalgam fillings. These are made of a combination of mercury and other metals like silver, tin, and copper. They are durable compared to the tooth-colored versions and are also more affordable. There have been concerns about mercury content in the filling, but the ADA has reported that the fillings are safe and do not cause any harm.
  • Composite or tooth-colored fillings are made of a mix of glass and acrylic resin or quartz particles. They are durable and often resemble your natural teeth. They are, however, more expensive than the amalgam fillings and also take longer to be fixed.
  • Gold fillings are a mix of gold, copper, and other materials. They are not aesthetically pleasing, and as such, they are often fixed on the back teeth.
  • Glass ionomer fillings are also tooth-colored but are not as strong compared to composite fillings. They are made of acrylic and glass that contains fluoride. Because of this feature, the fillings are also ideal for children.

What Can You Expect During Your Procedure?

The tooth filling procedure is simple, and it starts with a dental examination. The dentist will use an x-ray to check the tooth and the extent of the decay. Local anesthesia is used to numb the gums and ease pain and discomfort. The enamel is drilled to remove the decayed parts. A drill, air abrasion tool, or laser will be used depending on the location and the severity of the decay.

The selected filling is used to fill the tooth, and the process will take a few minutes, depending on the material. Sometimes, you may need more than one dental visit.

Composite fillings are applied in layers, but the procedure is done in one visit. However, if you choose gold and porcelain fillings, you may need more than one visit because they are made at the dental lab. The dentist will take a cast or impression of the affected tooth to fabricate the fillings.

Finally, the dentist will fix the fillings and polish the teeth and check the bite if it is even.

What Can You Expect After?

As the anesthesia wears off, you will feel soreness and sensitivity. You should avoid acidic and very hot or cold drinks for the first 48 hours after the procedure.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Arte Dental in McKinney for more information about dental fillings and what you can expect. Feel free to call us now to book an appointment with our trusted dentist near you at Arte Dental in McKinney, TX. You can also visit our dental clinic if you are living in Panther Creek Estates, Virginia Hills, Gartner Rd, McKinney, Collin McKinney Parkway, Wetsel, Fairview, Kingsbury Drive, Valliance Drive, and surrounding locations.

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