Dental Filling – 3 Commonly Asked Questions

Dental Filling San Francisco, CA

Getting a dental filling is one of the most common dental treatments in modern dentistry. It is a quick way to restore a tooth that has sustained damage from cavities. A dental filling can help level the surface of your tooth and help improve your jaw function. If you want to find out more, the following are the answers to the three common questions about dental fillings.

What happens during a dental filling procedure?

The standard way to perform a filling is to remove the decaying and dead material in and around the decaying part of the tooth. This area usually consists of enamel. The dentist removes it so that the filling can occupy the cleaned-up cavity. To block any pain or discomfort during the procedure, the dentist administers a local anesthetic. The patient will only feel the pressure of the drill that removes the deteriorated parts of the tooth.

If there is extensive decay that almost exposes the root, the dentist may need to use a dental linear. This may be composite resin or glass ionomer. The dental linear protects the tooth’s vulnerable nerve, making sure that it does not become more exposed. Then, the dental filling will follow. The dentist will clean and polish the tooth after. If the filling is tooth-colored, a special tool will help harden the layers.

What are the different kinds of materials for dental fillings?

Various factors like availability, budget, and the surface area of the cavity determine which kind of filling the patient can get. Silver amalgam is a dental filling that can last for a long time with proper care. It is suitable for longer periods of chewing. This is a good option for patients who are on a tight budget. Gold cast fillings are durable. This type of tooth restoration can last for at least 10-15 years with proper care. Gold fillings do not corrode at all.

Composite fillings are tooth-colored. These fillings are for people who do not want noticeable fillings. The natural structure of this dental filling provides more strength and support to the tooth. Rare glass ionomer fillings have glass and acrylic. This dental filling material can repair cavities that develop below the gumline. Glass ionomer fillings produce fluoride that strengthens the teeth while instilled in the tooth.

Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain. Although more abrasive, these fillings are stain-resistant. The color of ceramic fillings lasts longer than those of composite resin. Ceramics can last for about 15-17 years and cost more, as well.

What is the typical life span of a dental filling?

The answer to this question depends on the type of filling the patient chooses. Porcelain or ceramic fillings can last for five to seven years, while silver amalgam can last for 12 years. Gold cast ones last for at least seven years. Patients can have composite resin fillings for about 10 years, while golf foil ones can stay for 10-15 years. Some fillings can even last for longer than 12 years with proper care.

A dental filling can help restore your teeth after damage from dental decay

With constant advancements in dentistry, more types of fillings spring up. For some people, the most important factor to consider in choosing a dental filling is how well it blends with natural teeth. Others consider how durable the filling is. Whatever you choose, fillings are designed to restore your teeth and protect them from further damage.

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