What is a dental filling?
A dental filling is used when bacteria has compromised the healthy part of the tooth and to restore the tooth back for proper function. Your dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth and fill that hole to restore the tooth. Each tooth has five surfaces and your dentist will determine which surfaces need to be restored. Depending how much of the decay has spread determines how much of the tooth is compromised; a filling can be used for broken or cracked teeth as well.
During the process of the dental filling, your Coral Springs dentist will first use local anesthetic to get the area surrounding your tooth numb. This process makes it so you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. Your dentist will then isolate the tooth being filled and uses a drill to remove the decayed part of the tooth and any remaining bacteria to stop the process. Once the removal process is completed, your dentist will fill the hole created with either an amalgam (silver filling) or composite (resin/white) filling. A curing light is used to harden the material and then your dentist will check your bite to determine if any adjustment is needed, once done they will polish the tooth. If the tooth filling is too high, your dentist will make an adjustment to make sure that you are comfortable when the numbing wears off. It’s normal that an adjustment may be needed after the numbness has worn off. You may have some sensitivity for a few weeks after a filling is completed and it is normal to feel this way, but you shouldn’t be in extreme pain. If the decay has reached the nerve of the tooth, your Coral Springs dentist may refer you to an Endodontist for a root canal.
Most dental offices no longer use amalgam fillings also known as silver fillings. They are composed of mercury and other materials. Although still safe to use, the disadvantages are that the material expands and can cause the tooth to fracture. One reason most patients don’t request this type of tooth filling is for aesthetic reasons; it stands out when your mouth is open from talking or laughing. A majority of insurance companies only paid towards an amalgam filling still although most dental office don’t have the material on hand to even use. The most aesthetic choice when a filling is needed to a white filling also known as a composite filling. Your dentist can match the color to your tooth so it’s not recognizable when talking or laughing. The cost is more than an amalgam filling and you will pay the difference of what your insurance covers if they downgrade to an amalgam filling. The material used can also be used for a front tooth if it chips and is small enough to repair which is also known as bonding.
The best option when it comes to needing a dental filling is to get it done right away, this prevents the bacteria eating away at your healthy tooth structure to stop. The longer the bacteria stays the more of a chance you will need more costly treatment such as a root canal and crown, or may end up losing the tooth altogether. By having consistent check-ups at least twice a year with your dentist and dental hygienist will help keep your teeth healthy and any treatment needed can be detected early on. Some people are prone to need dental fillings even with frequent check-ups and good home care. Your dentist at Lakeview Dental of Coral Springs will recommend fluoride varnish at your check-up visits as well as using a tooth paste and mouth rinse that contains fluoride to help keep the bacteria at bay.