Everything You Need to Know About Cavity Fillings

Everything You Need to Know About Cavity Fillings

July 1, 2021

Poor oral hygiene might cause tooth decay. In turn, tooth decay causes dental cavities. If left untreated, the dental cavities can progress and cause secondary complications such as root canal infection, gum disease, tooth, and bone loss.

To prevent the dental cavities from progressing, your dentist might recommend fillings.

Types of Cavity Fillings

There are four types of dental cavity fillings you can choose, depending on the material. Every type of dental fillings has its advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, you should consider consulting your dentist before making your choice. Your dentist will recommend a tooth filling, depending on the position of your tooth and aesthetic preferences.

Below are some of the types of dental fillings:

Amalgam Fillings

Dentists have used amalgam fillings for decades and happen to be the most researched. Amalgam fillings are alloys of silver, mercury, and other metals. Such dental fillings are strong and durable. Therefore, amalgam cavity fillings are suitable for the back teeth since they can hold pressure from chewing.

Since amalgam fillings are a combination of metals, they are noticeable. Therefore, the cavity fillings are not suitable for front teeth.

Ceramic Dental Fillings

Porcelain tooth fillings are of ceramic material. Such tooth fillings provide aesthetics since the dentist can choose a color that matches your natural teeth. However, ceramic dental fillings are not suitable for molar and premolars since the porcelain material is prone to chipping.

Another reason you can choose porcelain fillings is their resistance to stains.

Composite Resin Fillings

Composite resin fillings are the cheapest and not as strong as the other types. However, they can be useful in cosmetic dentistry to fill your front teeth. During the tooth filling procedure, your dentist can choose a shade that matches your natural teeth color.

Glass Ionomer

Glass ionomer fillings are a combination of glass and acrylic. Such dental fillings are beneficial to your teeth since dental technologists design them to release fluoride treatments. However, a glass ionomer cavity filling is relatively less durable. Therefore, you might need replacements for your tooth fillings every five years.

Cavity Fillings Procedure

When getting a dental filling in Winter Haven, FL, the dentist will begin by examining your teeth. During the dental exam, your dentist can conduct a physical exam and x-rays for further diagnosis.

Next, your dentist in Winter Haven will prepare your tooth for a filling by removing any signs of decay. During the preparation, the dentist might administer local anesthesia, preventing discomfort and pain. The dentist will then drill any signs of decay and replace them with tooth fillings. The procedure for filling a tooth only takes a few minutes.

When using a composite resin material to fill a tooth cavity, your dentist can use a laser to harden it and make necessary adjustments. After the tooth filling process, your gums and teeth might feel numb for a few minutes. There are no risks associated with the dental filling procedure. However, it is advisable to contact your dentist if you develop complications.

Potential Risks

The dental fillings procedure is safe and less invasive. Therefore, you are at reduced risk of complications. However, you should be aware of potential risks and contact your dentist if you develop complications. Some of the potential problems after getting dental fillings can include:

  • Infections

Sometimes a tooth filling might detach from the cavity. In such a case, bacteria can get into the dental cavity and cause infection. Therefore, if you notice a space in your tooth or a taste of coins in your mouth, you should consider contacting your dentist immediately.

  • Damage

If not taken care of well, your tooth filling might be prone to damage. When the dental filling is damaged, you might experience discomfort and risk of further complications. In case you notice a damaged tooth filling, you should visit your dentist for repairs or replacements.

Taking Care of Your Cavity Fillings

Despite the type, dental fillings are prone to damage. To increase the lifespan of your dental fillings, our dentist at Winter Haven Dental recommends the following aftercare tips:

  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly as recommended by the dentist
  • Avoid chewing or biting on hard objects to prevent damaging your tooth filling
  • Wear a protective mouthguard when playing contact sports
  • Visit your dentist regularly for dental exams and cleanings
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