Restorative dentistry can be as involved as dental implants, gum grafts, and bone grafts or as simple as a filling. It is the most common restorative dentistry procedure and aids in keeping the tooth’s shape and strength when it is damaged. This damage can be caused by trauma or by patients simply not brushing and flossing on a regular basis. A relatively easy procedure to complete, the placement of a filling only takes a single office visit. Come see us today at our office location Excel Dental to find out more. We are always available to answer our patient’s questions.
Is a Filling Needed?
When a cavity is found during a routine cleaning or examination, patients will need to get a filling in order to stop it from worsening and potentially causing tooth loss. Even without a cavity, a filling can help other problems within the oral cavity too. If a tooth has a chip or a bothersome soft spot, a filling can easily repair this minor damage as well. Repairing cracks or fractures to help strengthen the tooth is another function of a filling too.
Reasons for Fillings
When cavities are not filled and repaired immediately, further damage can occur ultimately leading to both invasive and incredibly expensive surgical procedures. Those teeth which are not filled promptly can develop greater damage to the interior of the tooth causing an increased level of needed repair. If left for too long, they will become an abscess which means the infection has now spread to the interior of the tooth or the gums. This can mean a root canal is necessary to correct the problem and can ultimately lead to tooth loss.
Placing a Filling
Using a local anesthetic, a filling placement takes just one appointment. The anesthetic is typically injected into the gum although topical solutions can be used too for those patients with an aversion to needles. Once the area is numbed, the patient will be pain-free during the entire surgery.
Once numbed, the remaining infected tissue will be removed from the tooth at the site of the cavity. Then the malleable substance used to fill it will be applied. This will stop the decay from continuing and save the tooth.
Commonly, there are two different types of material used when filling cavities. The most widely used is an amalgam. This is a composite material made from merging two different metals. It appears metallic and is the longest-lasting filling available. Due to its appearance, it is the most noticeable too. A composite resin is the second type and has a few benefits over metallic fillings. It can be tinted to match the surrounding teeth and is much less noticeable than the metal ones.
Fillings can last approximately fifteen years when taken care of properly. If the patient brushes and flosses with regularity, they will last longer than when the patient fails to practice good oral hygiene.
When dealing with cavities, patients should come to our office immediately to have them filled. At Excel Dental we are here for your oral cavity health needs. Reach out to us by phone at (360) 369-3930 for an appointment.