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Tooth Fillings

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What we eat every day has an impact on our dental health. For instance, if you have a diet full of sugary and acidic foods it can be very hard on your teeth. Your teeth can get cavities, which are small pockets of decay on the surface of the tooth. It is important to remove this decay before it spreads any further. If left untreated, cavities can expand throughout the tooth and can cause pain and costly procedures. When a tooth is so decayed it cannot be saved, you may need a root canal, or to have the tooth removed completely. If you catch a cavity in it’s early stages, a filling is often recommended. If your dentist has told you to have a cavity filled, you have a few different options. There are two types of fillings available, both with their own advantages and disadvantages.

White Composite and Amalgam Tooth Fillings

The process of having a cavity or crack in the tooth filled is relatively simple and easy. It often only requires one office visit. Your dentist will start by numbing the affected area so that you do not feel any pain during the procedure. He or she will then use a drill to remove the decayed portion of the tooth. While this sometimes sounds worse than it is, it is required to get the decay out. By getting a filling early, you are ensuring that the decay will not continue to spread. After the decay is removed, the composite or amalgam is placed in the hole of the tooth to create an even surface. For composite only, a UV light is then placed in the mouth near the filling to cure the resin. Once it is hardened, your dentist will shape and polish the surface of the tooth, or teeth, to make sure your bite is restored. If you have any pain in the days following the procedure, please contact your dentist to have your bite adjusted as this is the most common reason for soreness and irritation after a filling.

The most common type of filling done is composite, or white tooth fillings. They are relatively new to the dental world in comparison with their amalgam counterparts. These are made with a composite resin material that is durable and strong, without the look of metal fillings. It can be matched to your existing tooth shade, and is barely visible! In fact, they are so durable that they can last for over ten years with proper care. They bond directly to the tooth and therefore require less drilling into the tooth directly. White composite fillings can also fix slightly cracked or fractured teeth. If the tooth is too damaged, your dentist may suggest a crown or dental bridge instead.

For composite fillings, a UV light is then placed in the mouth near the filling to cure the resin. Once it is hardened, your dentist will shape and polish the surface of the tooth, or teeth, to make sure your bite is restored. If you have any pain in the days following the procedure, please contact your dentist to have your bite adjusted as this is the most common reason for soreness and irritation after a filling.

The second filling type is amalgam, or metal fillings. They are put in the same way that composite fillings are, but they are much more visible. They are not tooth colored and can be easily seen in the mouth because of the strong contrast in coloring. They are just a durable as white tooth fillings, and can be placed in just one office visit. Because amalgam fillings were once the only option for filling a cavity or crack in the tooth, many patients are having their old metal fillings removed and replaced with composite for cosmetic purposes or health concerns.

NW Dental offers both white teeth fillings and metal fillings! Call a clinic near you today to schedule your appointment! We will guide you through the process!