Dental fillings are most commonly used to “fill” in areas of the tooth that have decay. Tooth decay can be the result of consuming sugary drinks and foods or from poor dental hygiene. Tooth decay can become a much bigger issue when left untreated as it can lead to pain and severe infections. Dental fillings are important because they stop decay from developing further and help the tooth to stay intact.
What is the Dental Filling process like?
Dental fillings are made of strong material that look, feel and function just like your natural teeth. The process of getting a dental filling is relatively simple. After your doctor identifies tooth decay during your dental exam, your dentist will begin by planning the best treatment option for you. As long as your tooth decay is minor, a dental filling will be the best option. However, if the decay is more severe, a different treatment may be chosen to treat your tooth.
Before any treatment option is chosen by you and your doctor, you will receive a thorough dental exam with an X-ray which will determine the location, size and severity of the tooth decay that you have. After this, your doctor will determine which filling material will work best for you. During your dental filling procedure, your doctor may numb your gums before removing the decayed tooth with a specialized drill. Finally, your doctor will fill the hole in the tooth with the chosen filling material.
There are 4 types of dental filling material that you can choose from: amalgam, composite, glass ionomer and gold fillings. Which material is best for you will be determined by the location of the tooth decay, the size of the filling needed, any allergies you have and your dental insurance coverage.
How long do Dental Fillings last?
Dental fillings will typically last around 10 years. The length of time that yours will last is dependent on several factors: your diet, your dental hygiene, your lifestyle and other habits that affect the health of your teeth. Teeth grinding, for example, can cause more stress to your dental filling and can result in more wear being done to your filling overtime.
The Importance of Good Dental Hygiene