Dental Fillings

What Are Dental Fillings?

When you have a cavity, it’s important to remove the area of decay before it gets worse. Once the decay is removed, a filling is placed to seal and restore the integrity of the tooth. If you have a cavity, it’s important to have a filling placed as soon as possible to prevent the progression of the decay to the nerve of the tooth.
resin composite filling

Different Types of Fillings

In the past, silver fillings were very common. While strong and durable, they usually cause teeth to fracture over the long term. It is very uncommon for anyone to place silver fillings anymore. Tooth-colored composite fillings are the standard of care now. While not as strong or long-lasting as silver fillings, they look beautiful and don’t cause any tooth damage. With good home care, they can last 10 or more years before needing to be replaced.

Why Are Dental Fillings Necessary?

The most common reason for needing a filling is because you have a cavity. Cavities may be small or large. Once the decay has reached in or near the inner pulp of the tooth, severe pain is possible, and a root canal and crown are needed. This can be prevented, however, by having the tooth decay removed and a filling placed. Scheduling regular 6 month checkups is the best way to fix teeth easily and inexpensively, avoiding toothaches along the way.

How Do You Know If You Need Dental Fillings?

Oftentimes you will not feel anything, but sensitivity to cold or sweets is common with tooth decay. You may also notice a brown or black spot on your teeth, sometimes accompanied by a hole. This is what we refer to as dental caries or a cavity. We can perform an exam and x-rays to determine if you have a cavity. This is part of your six-month checkup as well because cavities are best caught early while they are small. If you have a cavity, we recommend having the decay removed the same day to arrest its progression, and a filling placed.
man dental filling

What Happens During Dental Fillings?

We begin by administering a local anesthetic to block out pain sensations in the area. The decay is then removed from the tooth. The tiny hole that’s left behind will be prepared for the filling material. The filling is then placed into the hole. Your new filling will blend right into your tooth and last for years without showing any signs of needing a replacement.

When You Should Get a Filling Replacement

You should get a filling replaced right away if your existing filling has become damaged. This will prevent bacteria from causing extra damage, like impacting your tooth’s nerve.

How to Preserve Your Dental Fillings

Brush your teeth twice daily and floss once a day to keep your fillings intact. Be sure to also visit your dentist for regular dental exams so they can detect and resolve any problems with your fillings early on.

If you need a checkup or think you have a cavity, call or text us today at (972) 646-0660 and our clinical staff will set up a dental appointment for you at your convenience.

amalgam filling

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