Table of Content:

What is a dental filling?

  • before-dental-fillings
    Dental cavities have to be removed and replaced with fillings.

A dental filling is a simple way to fix small-to-medium sized cavities on your teeth. Dental fillings have many implications in dentistry. They can be used to fix cavities, repair broken teeth and even perform certain cosmetic treatments. Fillings come in a different variety of material including gold, Amalgam and natural looking resins. Receiving a filling is a cost effective and effective way to protect your damaged teeth.

If you don’t place a dental filling on a tooth with cavity, the cavity will develop larger. Eventually, you could end up developing a dental infection and possibly lose your tooth. Placing a filling helps protect your teeth to prevent further complications from developing. Typically, we receive our first fillings in childhood and early adulthood when our teeth first develop cavities. As we age, these fillings crack and develop recurrent cavities and need replacement. When this happens, fillings need to be replaced with larger fillings or crowns.

When do I need a dental filling?

Dental fillings are one of the most common treatments offered by general dentists. Fillings have many, many different uses in dentistry, such as:

Fixing dental cavities

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Placing a filling will protect your tooth against further damage and avoids the need for root canal or crown.

Fillings are used to fix teeth which are damaged by cavities. When a tooth develops a cavity, the cavity will continue to become larger unless your dentist intervenes. Once dentist removes the cavity, there is a large hole left behind. This hole needs to be filled with appropriate filling material. Placing a filling will protect your tooth against further damage and avoids the need for root canal or crown.

Teeth with small cracks

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Fillings work very well for addressing smaller cracks and fractures

Another use for dental fillings is repair cracked and fractured teeth. Your dentist can remove the fracture and replace the missing tooth structure with filling material. Fillings work very well for addressing smaller cracks and fractures. However, larger cracks and fractures typically require a crown or other more extensive restorative treatment options.

Dental bonding

White fillings can also be used for beauty purposes in cosmetic treatments. Cosmetic fillings, like bonding or composite veneers, can be used to enhance the appearance of your teeth. Placing white fillings on your front teeth can fix stains, discolorations, small gaps and other unsightly defects.

Other implications for fillings include restoring root canal treated teeth, repairing abrasions, sealing dental implant abutments, temporary restoration of severely damaged teeth, opening the bite during orthodontic treatment, etc. As you can see, fillings form the cornerstone of dentistry and dentists rely heavily on fillings to address different dental problems.

What are the different types of dental filling?

  • silver-dental-fillings
    Silver fillings stand out and may not be as attractive

All dental fillings are essentially synthetic material which are durable and resiliant enough to support your tooth structure. Dental fillings come in different varieties including gold, white and silver fillings. Here is what you need to know about type of filling material:

Silver fillings (Amalgam)

Silver fillings are very popular as they are easy to place, water resistant and extremely durable. However, silver fillings contain mercury, which is a known toxin. Our dental office stays away from Amalgam due to its mercury content as well as the poor aesthetic results.

White fillings (Composite)

White fillings are another very popular option as they are both sturdy and aesthetically pleasing. Initially, white fillings could only be used to restore yoru front teeth. However, the newer generation of white fillings are very sturdy aand can be used for restoring front and back teeth. Finally, white fillings come in a variety of shades to best match your tooth color. This allows your dentist to give your teeth a natural looking appearance and blend in the filling with your natural tooth.

Gold fillings

In the old days, gold used to be the standard of care for filling material. After all, gold is malleable, durable and easily contoured, which made gold the perfect dental filling material. However, gold fillings are mostly obsolete these days. This is primarily due to high cost of gold material as well as the availability of more aesthetic and natural looking alternatives.

What is a dental filling procedure like?

Receiving a dental filing is one of the simplest and quickest of all dental procedures. Placing a filling is a simple and cost-effective way to fight off cavities and repair broken teeth. Here is what a typical dental filling treatment looks like:

Removing tooth decay

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Your dentist will ensure that there are no cavity bacteria left behind to prevent recurring cavity or infection from developing.

Like most other invasive dental procedures, your treatment start by numbing your tooth. Typically, one to two shots should be all that you need for most fillings. In fact, some smaller fillings can be treated without a shot, especially when using laser dentistry. Once numb, your dentist will start by removing the cavity from your tooth. Your dentist will ensure that there are no cavity bacteria left behind to prevent recurring cavity or infection from developing.

Filling your tooth

Once your tooth has been prepared and the cavity removed, the filling material can be inserted into your tooth. All filling material harden within a few minutes to fill in the voids created by removing cavity. Finally, your dentist will make sure that your filling is nice and comfortable. During this process, your dentist will check your bite, tooth contact as well as the smoothness of your filling. Pay close attention to the fit and feel of your filling to make sure it feels and looks good. Otherwise, you will have to make an extra trip for an adjustment later on.

What are the limitations of fillings?

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Dental fillings are not a good option to repair teeth with large cavities or deep fractures.

Dental fillings are a great option to fix different dental problems, including small and medium-sized cavities. However, fillings are not a good option to repair teeth with large cavities or deep fractures. Fillings do not provide enough tooth support to restore severely decayed teeth, large cavities or extremely damaged teeth. For these larger defects, you typically need to place a crown or porcelain veneer on the tooth. Your dentist can help you decide if a cavity or crack is better suited for a filling or something stronger. Talk to your dentist to decide which is the better treatment option for your tooth.

Fillings and general dentistry in Orange County:

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By fixing your cavities early on, your treatment will be easier and more affordable.

We can help you if you have cavities, broken teeth and other dental needs. If you live in Orange County and need to see a dentist for general dentistry treatment, give us a call today. You can reach us at (949)481-2540 or book your appointment online today. Our dentist, Dr. Jazayeri, will examine your teeth to see if a filling is a good option or recommend other treatments. By fixing your cavities early on, your treatment will be easier and more affordable. So don’t delay treatment any longer, a simple dental cavity today can turn into an infection sooner than you’d imagine! To learn more about topics related to dental fillings, click on the following links: