Preserve Your Smile and Save Your Teeth with Dental Fillings
Dental fillings are one of the most common and effective treatments for tooth decay. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to more serious dental problems, such as gum disease and tooth loss. Whether you're dealing with a minor cavity or more extensive tooth decay, we're here to help restore your healthy smile. Our highly qualified Kingwood, TX dentist, Dr. Derek Scott uses state-of-the-art techniques and materials to provide quality dental fillings.
What Are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are a type of dental restoration used to repair and restore teeth that have been damaged due to decay, fractures, or trauma. Dental fillings can be made from a variety of materials, including silver amalgam, composite resin, gold, and porcelain. The choice of filling material depends on the extent of damage, the location of the tooth, and the patient's preferences. Dental fillings not only restore the shape and function of the tooth but also protect it from further decay or damage.
Benefits of Dental Fillings
Dental fillings offer several benefits, including:
- Restoring tooth structure: Dental fillings restore the structure of the damaged tooth, allowing it to function properly.
- Preventing further decay: By filling the cavity or hole in the tooth, dental fillings help prevent further decay from spreading and causing more damage.
- Improving appearance: Modern dental fillings can be made to match the color of natural teeth, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing and natural-looking smile.
- Durability: Dental fillings made from materials such as composite resin or porcelain are strong and long-lasting, ensuring that the restored tooth will be protected for many years.
- Maintaining tooth function: Dental fillings restore the function of the damaged tooth, allowing the patient to chew and speak properly without discomfort.
- Cost-effective: Dental fillings are a cost-effective way to restore damaged teeth, and can help prevent more extensive and expensive dental treatments in the future.
Before your treatment begins, Dr. Scott will discuss with you all of your options and help you choose the best filling for your particular case. In preparation for this discussion, it may be helpful to understand the two basic types of dental fillings — direct and indirect.
- Direct fillings are placed into a prepared cavity during a single visit. They include silver amalgam, glass ionomers, resin ionomers, and composite (resin) fillings. We prepare the tooth, place the filling, and adjust it in one appointment.
- Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits. They include inlays, onlays, and veneers fabricated with gold, base metal alloys, ceramics, or composites. Indirect fillings are used when a tooth has too much damage to support a filling but not enough to necessitate a crown. During the first visit, Dr. Scott prepares the tooth and makes an impression of the area to be restored. Then he places a temporary covering over the prepared tooth. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory, which creates the dental restoration. At the next appointment, Dr. Scott cements the restoration into the prepared cavity and adjusts it as needed.
Overall, dental fillings are a safe and effective way to restore damaged teeth and maintain good oral health. Regular dental check-ups can help detect any cavities or damage early, making the filling process quicker and easier.
Determining Candidacy for Dental Fillings
- Presence of tooth decay: Dental fillings are typically recommended for individuals who have cavities or tooth decay. If a cavity is left untreated, it can cause pain, sensitivity, and even tooth loss.
- Size and location of the cavity: The size and location of the cavity can also impact candidacy for dental fillings. If the cavity is too large or located in a hard-to-reach area of the mouth, a filling may not be the best option.
- Oral health: Individuals with good oral hygiene habits and overall oral health are typically better candidates for dental fillings. This is because good oral health can help prevent future decay and ensure that the filling lasts for a long time.
- Allergies or sensitivities: Some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to certain dental materials used in fillings. In these cases, alternative filling options may need to be considered.
- Cost: The cost of a dental filling may be a factor in determining candidacy, particularly if an individual does not have dental insurance or if the cost of the filling is prohibitively expensive.
Ultimately, the best way to determine candidacy for dental fillings is to schedule a dental exam with a qualified dentist. The dentist can evaluate the individual's oral health and recommend the most appropriate treatment options.
Dental Fillings Process
First, your Kingwood dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth using a local anesthetic to minimize any discomfort during the procedure. He will then remove any decayed or damaged portions of the tooth using a dental drill or other specialized tools.
Once the damaged portion of the tooth has been removed, Dr. Scott will clean the area to remove any remaining debris or bacteria. He will then prepare the tooth for the filling by shaping the cavity and creating a rough surface for the filling material to bond with. The type of filling material used will depend on the location and extent of the damage, as well as the patient's preferences and budget.
After the filling material has been placed, the dentist will shape and polish it to restore the tooth's natural appearance and function. You may experience some sensitivity or discomfort after the procedure, but this is typically temporary and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do dental fillings last?
The lifespan of dental fillings depends on several factors, such as the material used, the location of the filling, and the patient's oral hygiene habits. Generally, dental fillings can last for several years or even decades if properly cared for.
Can I eat normally after getting a filling?
After getting a dental filling, it's generally recommended to wait until the local anesthetic wears off before eating or drinking anything. This is because the numbing effect can make it difficult to properly chew food or drink without accidentally biting or burning your mouth. It's best to wait until you regain full sensation in your mouth before attempting to eat or drink anything.
Are dental fillings painful?
The process of getting a dental filling typically involves numbing the affected area of your mouth with local anesthesia. You may feel a slight pinch when the anesthesia is administered, but you should not feel any pain during the procedure. After the procedure, you may experience some sensitivity or discomfort for a few days, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. If you experience severe pain or discomfort after getting a filling, you should contact your dentist right away.
Schedule an Appointment With Dr. Scott
Dental fillings are a safe, effective, and minimally invasive treatment for tooth decay. Our Kingwood, TX dentist uses the latest techniques and materials to provide high-quality dental fillings that restore the function and appearance of your teeth. If you have tooth decay or a cavity, don't wait to seek treatment. Contact us today at (281) 358-3125, or fill out the online form to schedule an appointment and restore your smile.