One of the most common procedures we do here at Everglades Family Dental is to place a filling in a tooth that has a cavity. Fillings can repair damage, replace parts of a tooth that has been lost, and strengthen the tooth so it does not break. Many people have fillings, and thanks to advancements in technology, the material used often cannot even be seen by others. The process of getting a filling is quite simple, too, and can be done in a single appointment.
Why Are Fillings Necessary?
If you have a cavity in a tooth, that tooth is weakened. As the bacteria continue to eat away at the enamel, it can expose the root or pulp of the tooth. When this occurs, anything you eat can cause pain. It can even hurt to breathe in cold air. The tooth may then further degrade or can even crack if it becomes too weak. If a cavity is very bad, you may find it very difficult to eat, speak, or even breath properly.
If the cavity gets too bad, the only solution may be to extract the tooth. By placing a filling in the cavity, we protect the root of the tooth and help shore up the rest of the tooth so that it is not as fragile.
What Are Fillings Made of?
Fillings can be made out of a number of different materials. Older fillings were often made from silver or from a gold alloy. While they were effective, they were also very noticeable. Today, we use a porcelain or composite resin substance that is cost-effective and looks very similar to the natural color of your enamel. Most people do not even notice these fillings.
The Process of Getting a Filling
We typically find cavities two ways. Either you come to us because a cavity is causing pain or we find a small cavity during your six-month checkup. Either way, the process of restoring the tooth is the same. First, we numb that part of your mouth. Next, we remove all of the plaque, tartar, and other debris from the tooth. We scrap out all of the decayed black part of the tooth, leaving nothing but healthy enamel. If the cavity is deep enough that it has exposed the root, we will then put in a liner that protects this sensitive part of the tooth.
Once we have finished this prep work, we will place the actual filling. We first shape the material so that it will perfectly fit into the cavity and match how the tooth looked before it decayed. Once we have done this, we may need to use a UV light to set the filling. It depends on the type of material we use. Finally, we polish and smooth over the filling so there are no sharp edges.
Do You Need a Filling?
Even if you only have a small cavity, you need to have it filled. Cavities will only get worse, and you could end up losing the tooth if you do not seek treatment. If you know you have a cavity, do not wait until your next checkup. Call Everglades Family Dental at (754) 764-0465 to make an appointment for a filling.