Tooth Fillings in Cary, NC
Cavities and small fractures may cause damage to teeth that will only progress over time. What was a small fix ends up becoming a bigger procedure that could have been avoided with earlier treatment. When you have a cavity or other damage to your tooth, you may be a good candidate for a tooth filling.
What Are Tooth Fillings?
Tooth fillings (or dental fillings) are materials that are used to fill in a hole in a tooth in order to repair its structure and stop the damage to the tooth from progressing. There are different types of tooth fillings that can be used that are made of different materials and have their own advantages and disadvantages.
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Amalgram Tooth Fillings
Amalgam tooth fillings (also known as metal fillings) are tooth fillings that are made from an alloy that contains a variety of metals. They are often made with silver, tin, copper and even mercury. Because of the mercury in some amalgam tooth fillings, many patients tend to avoid these kinds of fillings for health reasons. Amalgam tooth fillings are also avoided because of their appearance. When a patient has a metal filling, it is extremely obvious.
Amalgam fillings are very common because of their low-cost, though, as well as their durability. They are generally the cheapest option for tooth fillings. The trend in dentistry has been away from amalgam fillings over the past 20 years and although they are still being used, we do not use amalgam fillings here at Wake Dental Care.
Are Fillings Necessary?
Fillings are often necessary for the repair of cavities, and other minor damage that has been done to the tooth. While there are multiple options for tooth repair, fillings are often the best for handling issues like cavities. It is important to have the cavity taken care of as soon as possible to avoid the issue becoming worse , and requiring root canal therapy.
Understanding why a tooth filling is necessary starts with understanding what cavities are. Cavities are another name for tooth decay. This decay involves bacteria eating away at a tooth, causing damage to the enamel below the surface. Once this enamel is damaged enough, the surface caves.
If the cavity is not cleaned and repaired with a tooth filling, the decay can get much worse. The damage may become severe enough that a dental veneer or dental crown may be needed. If the damage continues to go untreated, it may even require extraction.
Fillings stop the spread of damage, and the procedure of having a cavity filled involves the removal of decay—alleviating the pain a patient may be experiencing, while also repairing the integrity of the tooth.
While you may decide to visit your dentist in between trips with questions about a tooth that is bothering you, cavities often go unnoticed. This is part of why regular dental checkups are so important. By visiting the dentist regularly, you increase the chances of your dentist catching a cavity early—allowing them to repair the tooth before the damage gets any worse. Because your dentist will often catch the cavity during a checkup, the first part of the process of having a cavity filled is going to the dentist for a regular cleaning and checkup. If your dentist suspects that you have a cavity, x-rays will be taken to help the dentist to identify the exact location of the cavity.
Once the dentist has diagnosed the cavity, they will begin the process of cleaning and filling it. This process should take somewhere around an hour. During this time, the dentist will start by cleaning the tooth and removing the decay that led to the cavity to begin with. This is done with a dental drill, so anesthetics will be used to ensure that you don’t feel any pain throughout the procedure. If you begin to feel pain, let your dentist know.
Once the decay is removed, your dentist will place the tooth filling. Your dentist will then check to make sure everything looks okay, and that the filling fits properly. They will also test your bite.
After the procedure, it’s important to be mindful of any pain or sensitivity that the tooth may be experiencing. If your tooth is experiencing pain, sensitivity to pressure or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, it is important to visit your dentist as soon as possible. Your filling may not be holding up properly.
While fillings are an excellent solution to repair a tooth, they can sustain damage and fail. If this happens, make sure to visit your dentist immediately to have your filling replaced.
It’s extremely important to understand what led to you needing a tooth filling placed in the first place in order to avoid any more fillings being placed in the future. Your filling was likely a result of tooth decay—and that decay was a result of improper care for your teeth. Because of this, moving forward, you need to be more vigilant with your dental care. Make sure to brush, floss and wash your mouth out at least twice a day. Also make sure to visit your dentist for a checkup and cleaning twice a year. As was stated before, it is during a checkup that your dentist will be able to catch a cavity that is forming, and stop the process before it spreads to the root. If the damage is allowed to spread, root canal therapy will be necessary.
If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in a tooth, set an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. Otherwise, make sure you have an appointment in the books for your next regular checkup and cleaning to ensure your continuing oral health.
Dentists You Can Trust
We take the time to explain treatment and use the latest in dental technology to ensure a conservative approach to your dental care. We have specialized eyepieces and special decay-detecting dye to be sure we can see the smallest amount of decay and remove only the diseased portions of the tooth. Our iTero scanner allows us to scan your teeth and create restorations with world-class accuracy.
Dr. Jim Bohn
Dr. Bohn is a native of Pennsylvania. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology at Penn State University and a Doctorate of Medical Dentistry from Temple University School of Dentistry.
Dr. Jerry Allen
Dr. Jerry Allen was born and raised in Eastern North Carolina. He received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery (D.D.S) with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.