Cavities are widespread and can be fixed by dental fillings. Our dentists at Riverside Family Dentistry will guide you on how to identify if you require a dental filling.
About Dental Fillings
Dental restorations are used to fix teeth that are damaged or decayed. They help to restore the tooth's structure, function, and appearance, and can also alleviate any pain you may be experiencing.
Why are dental fillings used?
Tooth fillings are a solution for fixing teeth that have fractures, cracks, or decay. They help to bring back the normal function of your tooth and can also improve the appearance of your smile in certain cases.
Signs You May Need A Filling
While you should see a dentist to confirm whether you need a filling, here are some signs that you may have a cavity that needs a tooth filling. If you experience any of these, schedule an appointment with your dentist:
- You feel a sharp or throbbing pain in your tooth.
- When you examine your teeth, you see a hole or dark spot.
- Your tooth is broken or chipped.
- Your tooth feels rough to the touch.
- Food keeps getting stuck between certain teeth.
- An existing tooth filling has broken or cracked.
- You've lost a tooth filling and need a replacement.
What Are Dental Fillings Made Of?
Dental fillings come in different materials such as amalgam, composite, porcelain, and gold. Each material is safe and can last a long time, but they also have pros and cons when it comes to fixing a cavity or decay. Our dentists can guide you in choosing the right filling material for your dental needs.
Porcelain Fillings for Strength & Appearance
Porcelain fillings, also known as inlays and onlays, are strong dental restorations made in a dental lab and sent to your dentist to put in your mouth.
They are a combination of porcelain and metal, and are tooth-colored. Porcelain fillings are commonly used on molars because they are more long-lasting and durable than regular dental fillings.
The process of getting a porcelain filling usually requires two dental appointments.
Composite Fillings for a Natural Look & Feel
Composite fillings are a popular choice for patients who want a natural look and feel for their teeth. They blend in well with the surrounding teeth, so they are not easily noticeable. Unlike grey amalgam fillings, they don't stand out and are less visible when you smile.
Dentists prefer composite fillings because they are easy to shape and bond to the tooth. They require less enamel removal, so the tooth stays stronger.
To place a composite filling, the dentist removes the decay and adds bonding material. Then, the composite resin is layered in and hardened with a special light. Finally, the filling is shaped to match your natural teeth.
Gold Fillings for Durability
When you need a filling in your tooth, your dentist may suggest a cast gold filling. This type of filling is made by creating a mold of your tooth and then filling it with a mixture of gold, copper, and silver.
The filled mold is then made in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist. Your dentist will place the filling in your tooth during a second appointment after cementing it in place.
Although cast gold fillings last a long time (20 years or more), they are more expensive than other types of fillings, and you'll need at least two dental appointments to get them.