Dental Fillings: Types Procedure and Aftercare
Tooth cavities are holes that develop as a result of bacteria activity in your enamel. When plaque and tartar accumulate on your teeth and gum line, they provide a habitat for the multiplication of bacteria. The bacteria releases toxins that bring about wear and tear on the enamel, leading to cavities.
You might not realize you have cavities until they progress. However, if you notice signs of cavities, you should visit your dentist to reverse tooth decay using dental fillings. The signs and symptoms of dental cavities include:
- Unexplained toothache
- Tooth sensitivity
- Moderate pain when chewing or biting on food
- Visible holes on your tooth’s enamel
- Spots of tooth discoloration
With the above signs, your dentist uses dental fillings in Houston to stop the progression of the dental cavities. Apart from reversing the effects of tooth decay, dental fillings make the tooth aesthetic.
Types of Dental Fillings
Before choosing the type of dental fillings you want, you should discuss with your dentist to understand the benefits and limitations of each type. Your dentist can also recommend dental fillings in Houston, TX, depending on the size of the cavity.
Below are some of the types of dental fillings:
- Composite resin fillings. Also known as tooth-colored fillings, these fillings options contain a mixture of glass or quartz filler. Composite resin dental fillings provide durability and are fracture resistant. Your dentist can recommend these fillings if you have mid-sized cavities on the front or back of the tooth.
- Amalgam fillings. These dental fillings are a mixture of metals such as mercury, tin, copper, and silver. Amalgam dental fillings are more durable than composite resin and gold ones. However, they don’t have the natural color of your teeth.
- Gold fillings. Also known as Onlays or inlays, consist of an alloy of gold, copper, and other metals. The material is durable but does not match the natural color of your tooth.
Dental Fillings Procedure
When receiving dental fillings in City Centre, Houston, the first step involves preparing the decayed tooth. Your dentist uses a drill or laser to remove the decayed parts of your tooth. The next step of preparing for a dental filling is cleansing the areas to remove bacteria and debris.
Before proceeding with applying the composite resin filling material, your dentist will place a rubber dam around the tooth. The rubber dam prevents the exposure of your tooth to moisture during the procedure. Next, the dentist will apply a bonding material followed by the composite resin filling material.
The final step involves the hardening of the filling material and reshaping your tooth to match the adjacent ones.
What Can I Expect After a Dental Fillings Procedure?
Fillings aim to reduce pain associated with cavities. However, you might still experience pain after a dental filling procedure. Some of the reasons you might feel pain after getting a dental filling to include:
- Tooth sensitivity. You might feel pain when you bite down or take hot and cold beverages. However, the pain you experience after a dental filling procedure should suppress after a few weeks.
- Allergic reactions. You might be allergic to the filling material and feel pain. Therefore, to avoid feeling pain after getting dental fillings, it is advisable to inform your dentist about your allergies. When your dentist has information on your allergies, they will be able to choose a cavity material that does not cause an allergic reaction.
In rare cases, you might experience soreness in the area. Also, if you have a cracked filling, you should contact your dentist immediately.
Composite resin fillings last between five to seven years, while gold and amalgam fillings can last more than 10 years. However, without proper dental care, they may not last long. Therefore, you should follow guidelines that help in keeping your dental fillings intact.
One of the factors that improve the lifespan of your dental fillings is good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene involves brushing twice a day, flossing once daily, and scheduling regular professional dental cleanings with your oral hygienist.
Your dental fillings, especially composite resins are prone to staining and discoloration. At Sapphire Smile in City Centre, we recommend you avoid using tobacco products and other staining agents such as coffee, red wine, and grape juice. Also, avoid biting on hard objects to prevent damaging the filled tooth.