A dental filling is a restorative treatment used to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. While tooth-colored fillings are becoming more popular, traditional metal fillings are still commonly used for treating cavities. To place a filling, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill the space with filling material to prevent further damage.
Types of Dental Fillings
There are several different types of dental fillings available to treat different kinds of dental decay. Amalgam fillings are composed of a mixture of metals, including silver, tin, copper, mercury, and zinc. They are extremely durable and relatively inexpensive compared to other kinds of dental fillings.
Composite resin fillings are tooth-colored and made from plastic-based materials. These fillings provide the same benefits as amalgam fillings but are less noticeable to the naked eye because they are tooth-colored.
Glass ionomer fillings are made from glass and acrylic materials and are durable, strong, and require less removal of healthy portions of the tooth structure than traditional fillings.
Gold fillings contain gold and other metals and require the least amount of removal of natural tooth structure compared to other types of fillings. However, they are the most expensive type of dental fillings.
To prepare the tooth for a dental filling procedure, the dentist will first numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Then, they will use a special tool to remove the decayed area of the tooth and clean the area thoroughly in order to prevent infection and promote the healing of the tooth.
Once the tooth is prepared for the filling, the dentist will place the filling material into the tooth and use special tools to shape it to fit into the cavity perfectly. After the procedure is complete, patients should return to the dentist periodically for routine checks to make sure the filling is still intact or have it replaced if needed.
Benefits of Dental Fillings
Repairing teeth with fillings helps prevent further damage as well as infections and further decay. When natural teeth are cracked or decayed, bacteria can enter the exposed area and cause further harm. Left untreated, cavities can lead to tooth loss. By getting a filling placed as soon as possible, you can help prevent further complications and preserve your natural smile.
Another benefit of repairing your teeth with fillings is that they can improve the appearance of your smile. Tooth-colored fillings match the color of your existing teeth and can help to correct minor, aesthetic concerns. This helps patients maintain a youthful and healthy appearance throughout the years.
To learn more about our dental services or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Russell, call Russell Family Dentistry at (281) 351-5458 or visit us at 29210 Quinn Road, Tomball, TX 77375.