WHAT IS A DENTAL FILLING?
A dental filling is a restoration that uses either composite resin or amalgam material to fill in an area of a tooth that has a cavity due to decay. Fillings are simple restorations that can be matched to the color of your existing smile.
WHY MIGHT A DENTAL FILLING BE NEEDED?
Fillings are needed when decay has penetrated through the enamel, the hard outside material of a tooth. It is important to catch the decay early before it has gotten too deep or damaged too much tooth structure. If decay is left untreated, it can progress into the nerve of your tooth, resulting in the need for a root canal and crown, or in severe cases, the tooth may need to be extracted.
WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR DENTAL FILLINGS?
Anyone can be a candidate for a filling. Both adults and children are susceptible to decay. In many cases, you won't know you have a cavity until you come in for an exam. During the exam, we use a special instrument to look for dark areas or soft spots in a tooth. X-rays further help us in identifying these trouble areas. If you have a cavity, it's recommended that it be filled sooner rather than later.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE DENTAL FILLING PROCESS?
We first numb the area of the mouth needing the filling. The decay is removed from the tooth completely. The next step is to prep the tooth for the new composite filling. We do this by applying an etching gel into the prepped area, washing it away and then bonding the resin into place. The resin is cured and hardened with a special dental light. It is possible to place more than one filling in the same area of the mouth at the same appointment if it is necessary.
If you think you might need a dental filling and want to know more about the procedure, call our office today and one of our friendly team members will be happy to help.