What Are Tooth Fillings?

What Are Tooth Fillings?

Picture this: you're at the dentist's office, and after a routine examination, they inform you that you have a pesky cavity. Don't fret! That's where tooth fillings come to the rescue. Tooth fillings are materials used to repair and restore teeth damaged by decay or cavities.

But what exactly do these fillings do? Well, they serve two essential purposes. They help remove the decayed portion of the tooth, preventing further damage from occurring. Once the decay is removed, tooth fillings step in to "fill" the resulting space and restore your tooth's shape and functionality.

What Types of Tooth Fillings Are There?

When it comes to tooth fillings, there are several types available depending on your unique dental needs. The most common and widely used type is amalgam fillings. These silver-colored fillings are made from a mixture of metals, including silver, tin, copper, and mercury. Amalgam fillings are known for their durability and affordability.

Another popular option is composite resin fillings. Unlike amalgam fillings that stand out due to their color, composite resin fillings can be matched to the natural shade of your teeth. This makes them a more aesthetically pleasing choice for those who prefer a more discreet look.

For individuals with larger cavities or areas of significant decay, inlays or onlays may be recommended by the dentist. Inlays are custom-made restorations that fit inside the tooth's cusps, while onlays cover one or more cusps.

Ceramic or porcelain fillings are also available and provide excellent aesthetics as they can be closely matched to the natural color of your teeth. These types of dental restorations tend to be more expensive than other options but offer exceptional strength and durability.

In some cases, gold alloy fillings may also be used due to their longevity and resistance against wear. However, these metal-based filings tend to be much pricier compared to other alternatives.

How Can I Get a Tooth Filling?

Getting a tooth filling is a common dental procedure that helps restore the structure and function of a damaged or decayed tooth. The process typically involves removing the decayed portion of the tooth and filling it with a suitable material to prevent further damage.

To begin, your dentist will first examine your teeth and determine if a filling is necessary. They may use X-rays to get a better view of the affected area. If they decide that you need a filling, they will numb the area around the tooth using local anesthesia to ensure you feel little to no discomfort during the procedure. Next, your dentist will remove any decay from your tooth using specialized tools. This step aims to clean out all bacteria and debris from within the cavity. Once this is done, they will prepare the space for filling by etching or roughening its surface.

The type of filling material used can vary depending on factors such as cost, location in the mouth, personal preference, and extent of damage. After selecting an appropriate filler material for your specific case, your dentist will carefully place it into the prepared space while ensuring proper shaping and contouring for optimal bite alignment. They may also use ultraviolet light or laser technology to harden certain types of fillings.

Once placed successfully in position, your dentist will check your bite to make sure it feels natural when chewing or biting down. Any excess material will be removed before polishing up the filled tooth so that it matches seamlessly with the surrounding teeth.

Visit Nicole E. Kuske, DDS, at 22992 El Toro Rd, Lake Forest, CA, 92630, or call (949) 855-0176 for the best dental care tailored to your specific requirements.

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