Dental Fillings help restore teeth damaged by decay back to their normal function, and can prevent further decay
What is a Dental Filling?
Dental fillings use a composite resin-type material to replace decay that is present in one or more of your natural teeth. If left untreated, decay can continually eat into the tooth and cause the need for a root canal. A filling puts a stop to the spread of decay while re-structuring the overall integrity of the actual tooth. A dental filling can last for many years before it will eventually need to be replaced.
Why might you need a Dental Filling?
In the majority of cases, a dental filling is necessary because a tooth has a cavity. Cavities can be small or large in nature, and the size of the cavity determines the size of the filling needed. With composite resin fillings, you can rest assured that the restoration will blend into the rest of your teeth and will be virtually invisible to the naked eye. In some instances, a filling may be needed because there is a break or crack in the tooth.
Why might you be a good candidate for Dental Fillings?
Cavities and signs of decay are often spotted during your bi-annual dental exams. You will be re-scheduled to come in and have the filling placed. You’re a good candidate for the procedure if you have dental decay and are looking for a quick, durable option to help restore the tooth. We are committed to providing you with a solid filling that will last for many years.
What Types of Dental Fillings Are Available?
Dental fillings are among the easiest and fastest restoration options available for tooth cavities in Colorado Springs, especially if the damage done to the tooth is relatively mild and has not had a chance to progress. Traditionally, fillings have been made of metals because of their durability and longevity. The biggest downside of metal fillings is that they can affect the appearance of the tooth, making them more noticeable to observers.
More recently, dental filling materials have been developed that mimic the color and appearance of the tooth. This makes the teeth with the fillings indistinguishable from those without and is good if you do not want your dental work to be noticeable to others.
What Is a Composite Resin Filling Made of?
While there are other options for tooth-colored fillings, a composite resin filling is the most popular because of its affordability and durability. It consists of a resin, which is a type of plastic mixed with a filler of quartz or glass.
What Are the Benefits of Composite Resin Dental Fillings?
Here is an overview of the advantages that composite resin dental fillings offer over traditional metal fillings.
Teeth that contain traditional metal fillings can look stained or discolored. This is not because of a problem with the tooth or the filling. Rather, it is because the naturally occurring dark color of the material shows through the tooth enamel. Composite resin fillings mimic the color of natural teeth, making it less obvious that you have had a filling done.
Traditional fillings are made of a blend of several metals. One of these metals is mercury, which can be poisonous to humans. While the amount of mercury used for traditional fillings is believed to be too small to cause damage, there is still concern about mercury from a filling leaching into the body and causing harm. The materials used in composite resin fillings have been proven to be safe through extensive testing.
Composite resin fillings can be used in both front and back teeth. Because of their natural appearance, they are popular in the teeth that are the most visible from the front. With composite fillings, no one should be able to tell that you have had dental work even when you open your mouth wide and throw back your head while laughing.
Composite resin fillings are more convenient than traditional fillings for several reasons:
- Require less drilling
- Bond strongly to the existing tooth
- Harden quickly
The strength of composite fillings has been proven, and less drilling also means that more of the original tooth structure is preserved. Another advantage is that the composite resin insulates your tooth, giving you less sensitivity to hot and cold.
What can you expect during the Dental Filling procedure?
You will receive anesthetic of your choice to make the visit more comfortable for you. The tooth that will be getting filled is drilled into to remove the decay. Once the decay has been completely removed, the area is prepped for the composite material. The resin is then poured into the tooth and shaped to create a comfortable and even bite. The material is then cured using a blue curing light so that it sets into the tooth. We are here to answer any questions regarding your filling procedure before, during and after having it done.
How Do You Take Care of Composite Resin Fillings?
For the most part, you do not need to do anything special to take care of your composite dental fillings. You should continue to observe standard oral hygiene practices of brushing and flossing, but you may need to take a little extra care with brushing. You should continue to see us for regular checkups following your filling. If participating in contact sports, you should use a mouthguard to protect your teeth.
The two things you need to be extra careful about with a composite resin filling is to avoid eating or chewing on any very hot, cold, or hard items.
What Problems Can Arise With Dental Fillings?
Most people in Colorado Springs have had dental fillings for many years with no problems whatsoever. However, fillings can break or crack due to an injury to the mouth or from biting down on something very hard. Years of chewing can cause fillings to wear down or fall out, especially if combined with grinding or clenching of the teeth, which puts them under extra pressure.
If a filling falls out, you’ll probably notice it right away because of the piece of material floating around in your mouth. When a filling is cracked or broken, it may be accompanied by intense dental pain. However, sometimes damage to the fillings causes no symptoms at all. For these reasons, having dental checkups is very important because if you are not aware of damage to your fillings, you may continue to chew on them, which may make the damage worse, possibly escalating to the point that you do have pain.
If you become aware of damage to one or more of your fillings, you should see a dentist as soon as possible rather than waiting for your next check-up. This allows us to assess and correct the damage right away so that it does not become worse.
Another complication of fillings that is rare but still occurs occasionally is an infection. This can occur when bacteria get caught in a small space that gets left behind when a filling pulls away from the tooth’s structure. You should see us as soon as possible if you notice any possible symptoms of infection.
Taking care of your teeth can help you prevent problems with your fillings. This involves maintaining good oral hygiene at home and regular visits to our office in Colorado Springs for cleanings and examinations. You may not be able to prevent filling replacement, but you may be able to delay it for years.