Dental Fillings: All You Need to Know

Tooth decay can cause the formation of tooth cavities. If the tooth cavities are left untreated, decay progresses. Sometimes, you might be at risk of losing your tooth or other complications. Other times you might you might have a fractured tooth. The fracture exposes your tooth to infections that can call for root canal treatment or periodontal treatments.

Depending on the extent of fracture and decay, your dentist might recommend dental fillings. Dental fillings are tooth restorations that fill cavities, and cracks, preventing the teeth from infections and improve their appearance and strength.

Who Is Eligible for Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings have no side effects. Therefore, anyone can get dental fillings. However, tooth fillings don’t address all dental problems. At the dental clinic in Phoenix, your dentist will examine your teeth to determine if dental fillings are suitable for your teeth.

Some of the reasons why you might be eligible for dental fillings include:

  • Tooth cavities due to decay
  • Broken or chipped tooth enamel
  • After a root canal treatment

In case your dental problem is extensive, the dentist might recommend tooth crowns.

Types of Tooth Fillings

When filling cavities, you can choose from a list of dental fillings types that vary in material. Below are some of the types of tooth fillings:

Amalgam Fillings

Dentists have used amalgam fillings for years. Since the silver alloys are strong, they tend to last long. Therefore, if you have a tooth cavity on your back teeth, amalgam fillings would be ideal treatments. However, since they are made of a mixture of materials, they are easily noticeable when you smile.

Ceramic Tooth Fillings

Ceramic tooth fillings are of porcelain material. The porcelain material is relatively strong and assumes the natural color of your teeth. Therefore, you can consider such dental fillings for your front teeth. Also, the ceramic material is not prone to staining.

Metal Fillings

When you want metal fillings for tooth cavities, you can choose gold or silver amalgam. Metal tooth fillings are durable and can last up to 15 years since they can withstand pressure.

Composite Dental Fillings

Composite fillings are of a mixture of glass or quartz and match the natural color of your teeth. Therefore, it is not easy to notice if a person has such dental fillings.

Glass Ionomer

Such dental fillings consist of a blend of glass and acrylic material and release fluoride to protect your teeth. However, such dental fillings are less durable.

Dental Fillings Procedure

The first step of getting dental fillings is a consultation with your dentist. Your dentist will check if your tooth is destroyed. In case of extensive damage, the dentist might recommend dental crowns.

Next, the dentist will administer local anesthesia and prepare your tooth for a dental filling. When preparing the tooth, the dentist will scrape out the signs of decay and rinse the area. In case your root canal is infected, your dentist might recommend endodontic treatment first.

When placing the filling material, your dentist will isolate the tooth from moisture. Moisture might hinder the bonding of the filling material to your tooth. Your dentist in Phoenix will then fill the tooth and leave it to bond. Sometimes, the dentist might use a laser to harden the filling material.

Finally, the dentist will polish the tooth and recommend follow-up appointments.

Taking Care of Your Cavity Fillings

Just like any other tooth restoration, dental fillings might be prone to damage. Therefore, you should take care of them to increase their life span. Below are some of the care tips for dental fillings:

  • Good oral hygiene, which involves brushing and flossing your teeth regularly to eliminate plaque and debris
  • Visit your dentist regularly for exams and cleanings to remove plaque and tartar deposits, preventing further decay
  • Avoid smoking or using tobacco products to prevent discoloration and staining
  • Don’t bite or chew on hard objects such as ice and nails since you might damage your teeth
  • Wear a protective mouthguard when playing contact sports to prevent dental injuries

If your dental fillings are damaged, you should consider emergency treatments since you might be at risk of further complications. Your dentist will replace your tooth fillings or repair them. Therefore, if you need dental fillings in Phoenix, you can consider visiting our clinic at Arizona Family Dentistry.

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