Tooth fillings or restorations help restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function. Your dentist may recommend a filling when tooth decay has caused a hole to form on a tooth surface.
As with anything in life, no one type of filling is best for everyone. What filling is specifically designed for your needs will depend on the extent of the repair, whether you are allergic to certain materials, the cost of the procedure, and where in your mouth the tooth filling is needed. Talk to your dentist about which type of filling is the best option for you and consider the following materials:
Amalgam (silver fillings):
This is the easiest material to use for dentists. It is also the fastest and is relatively inexpensive. They are dark and more noticeable than porcelain due to the mixture of mercury, silver, tin, and other materials used to make it.
This material is expensive, hard to work with and the procedure will take much longer.
Porcelain fillings are produced in a lab, they resist staining and can be matched to the color of the tooth. The cost is comparable to the gold fillings.
Composite resins are matched to the exact color of your teeth therefore creating a natural appearance. Composites may not be used for large fillings as they may wear over time. This material is easier than gold for dentists to work with and are frequently less expensive.
After considering all your options and discussing them with your dentist, it is time for the procedure. The process to a tooth filling is very simple, first the dentist numbs your teeth, gums, tongue, and the surrounding skin (some dentists will use laughing gas), then drills out the decayed tooth material, and finally fills the cavity with a filling material.
It is important to know that after you get the filling, the filled tooth may be sensitive to both heat and cold for days or even weeks after the procedure. Always talk to your dentist if you feel discomfort and your teeth are too sensitive.
Tooth filling repairs stop decay and are meant to last over a long period of time, sometimes you may need to a replace a worn-out filling.
To learn more about tooth fillings and how Hagerman Dental Care can repair damage done by tooth decay call Hagerman Dental Care in Minneapolis–St. Paul, Minnesota at (651) 646-2392, or request an appointment online.