What is Dental fillings?

When your tooth suffers minor to moderate damage, your dentist may suggest a dental filling. Dental fillings can restore your tooth to its natural function and shape by repairing tooth cracks, chips, and cavities. Besides, fillings also close off the spaces created by tooth decay, preventing the entry of bacteria to the tooth roots, thus preventing further tooth decay.

Types of dental fillings

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Amalgam fillings

Silver fillings, or amalgam fillings, are fillings made up of several metals, including silver, tin, copper, and mercury. The silver fillings are mixed with mercury, which, combined with the metals, harden to form a stable filling material. They are used to fill cavities, as well as other dental issues such as cracked or broken teeth. However, because of their dark color, they are not used in visible areas.

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Composite fillings

Composite fillings – also known as white fillings – are natural-looking fillings that can be matched to the shade of the teeth. The composite resin material is bonded to your tooth to help restore both function and appearance. Unlike amalgam fillings, composite fillings are only about 1/2 to 1/4 of an inch thick, making them more comfortable than other types of fillings.

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Gold fillings

Gold fillings aren’t common in the U.S. anymore. Gold fillings were once used to fill cavities and cracked teeth. Gold fillings are strong and durable, so they’re a good choice for back teeth. However, they are more expensive and not as durable as other filling materials.

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Porcelain fillings

Also called inlays or onlays, porcelain fillings can be made to match the color and appearance of the natural tooth. Besides, porcelain fillings resist staining and cover most of the tooth, making it an ideal dental restoration for cavities.

What is the process involved in getting dental fillings?

Numbing the area

The dentist will most likely use a topical anesthetic to numb the area. This numbing agent will numb the gums and teeth, so the patient will not feel any pain in the area surrounding the tooth. If the patient is experiencing anxiety about the appointment, the dentist may recommend an oral sedative. These medications are available by prescription, and they can be very effective in reducing anxiety.

Removal of the decayed area of the tooth

Once the area is numbed, your dentist will remove any decay using a drill, laser, or air abrasion instrument. The instrument will be chosen depending on the comfort level and preference of the dentist, as well as the extent of the decay. Then, the cavity will be cleaned and shaped to prepare it for filling.

Filling the cavity

This step involves the dentist placing the filling material on the tooth, molding it into the desired shape, and curing it with a special light. The light is used to speed up the aging process of the bonding material, hardening it so that it forms a strong bond with your tooth. The light will also stimulate the bonding material to bond more quickly to the tooth.

Polishing the filling and adjusting the bite

The dentist then polishes the filling and adjusts the bite. The bite is the position the teeth make when the mouth is closed. The bite must be correct to allow for comfortable chewing, talking, and jaw movement. If there is any discomfort, the dentist reshapes the filling again to adjust the bite.

Have Questions About Dental Fillings? Find Answers Here.

The most important thing to remember is that prevention is the best approach to maintaining good oral health. A cavity is a permanent damage, so don’t wait for it to happen before coming in to see us. We recommend patients come in every six months for a checkup and cleaning. That way, we can catch cavities and other dental issues early. Once a tooth does have a cavity, we need to determine how best to treat it.

If you’re wondering whether dental fillings are covered by dental insurance, the answer is yes. Fillings are typically covered by insurance, but these benefits can vary by plan. Some plans only cover the cost of silver fillings, while others cover gold fillings, as well.

It usually takes one or two appointments to complete a dental filling. You can talk to your dentist about anesthesia options if you’re worried about discomfort during the procedure.

There are many factors that can affect the longevity of a dental filling. The biggest factors are the type of material the filling is made out of and how well you care for your teeth. In most cases, a filling can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years.

Do you have a question? Or do you wish to schedule an appointment with us? Call Dawson Modern Dentistry at (704) 565-9512 or visit Dentist in Matthews, NC at 3555-2 Matthews-Mint Hill Rd, Matthews, NC 28105.


3555-2 Matthews-Mint Hill Rd,
Matthews, NC 28105

Office Hours

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