8 Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Fillings

8 Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Fillings

October 1, 2022

Cavities remain a common problem among millions of adults and children. If untreated, cavities can deepen, exposing more of the tooth’s structure and leading to long-term damage like tooth loss. That’s why dental fillings come in.

Each year, dentists fix thousands of cavities with dental fillings. If you’re considering dental fillings or have been scheduled for the procedure, you might have many questions about the treatment. This guide answers some of the most frequently asked questions about dental fillings.

  • What are dental fillings?

Dental fillings are restorations or artificial materials used to repair tooth damage like cavities. They replace a tooth’s damaged parts, restoring its structure, strength, and function.

  • How are dental fillings done?

A tooth filling is typically a quick and straightforward procedure. The dentist will begin by numbing the area around the damaged tooth to keep you pain-free. Then, they will remove the decayed or damaged parts of the teeth.

The tooth is then cleaned and disinfected. Next, the dentist fills the tooth with a filling. The actual filling procedure will depend on the filling material used. Lastly, the dentist will inspect your bite and makes adjustments to ensure the filling looks natural.

  • Do I need a dental filling?

Generally, you might not need a filling if the damage is minor and hasn’t penetrated past the enamel. However, a filling is essential if the cavity has exposed the tooth’s inner structures. Common signs that you might need a filling include:

  • General tooth pain
  • Sensitivity to hot, cold, or sugary food items
  • Pain when chewing or upon touching the tooth
  • A dark spot or staining on the surface of the tooth
  • A damaged or dislodged filling
  • A chipped, broken, or cracked tooth
  • Food getting stuck in certain parts of the teeth

When you visit the dentist, they will take x-rays to determine the extent of damage to the tooth and advice you accordingly. It’s essential to seek treatment promptly to prevent further damage.

  • What are the different types of dental fillings?

There are several material options to choose from for fillings. These include silver amalgam, gold, composite resin, glass ionomer, and ceramic. Ceramic and composite are tooth-colored and therefore offer great aesthetics. Gold and silver fillings are strong and durable but have poor aesthetics.

  • Which dental filling materials are the best?

Each dental fillings have its pros and cons. For instance, while silver and gold fillings have poor aesthetics, they are very strong and durable. They are ideal for back-teeth restorations. On the other hand, if you want to repair a front tooth, you can go for ceramic or composite fillings. They are tooth-colored and therefore blend well with your natural teeth. Our dentist can help you select the right tooth filling in Philadelphia, PA.

  • Are dental fillings safe?

Dental fillings are safe. However, there are concerns about the safety of silver amalgam fillings. Some sources claim that the mercury components have health concerns. Amalgam fillings also contract or expand under extreme temperatures, which can lead to tooth damage.

  • Can dental fillings come off?

Dental fillings and other restorations like veneers and crowns can become loose, damaged, and even fall off. However, this is unlikely to cause any serious problems. You should call your dentist immediately if you experience severe symptoms like pain, swelling, fever, or bleeding. Be sure to take the fallen or damaged restoration to your dental appointment.

  • How long do dental fillings last?

Generally, fillings are solid and durable.  However, they can get damaged or wear out over time, losing efficiency and exposing you to infections or fractures. Therefore, it’s essential to replace fillings after a while.

Silver amalgam, gold, and ceramic filling last about 10 – 15 years. Composite and glass ionomers are less durable, lasting less than seven years. The dentist will always inspect your fillings during routine dental assessments and replace them if necessary.

Schedule an appointment today

Are you interested in dental fillings in Philadelphia, PA? Contact Elegance in Dentistry for more information.

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