Dental Fillings: Types, Procedure, & Options

Suspect you have a cavity? A dental filling is the best way to restore your decayed tooth and avoid further complications. In this guide, the team at Buckwalter Dental Care will take you through the basics of the different types of dental fillings, the procedure, caring for a filling, and more. Let’s get started.

Types Of Dental Fillings

There are many different types of filling, but the below types are the most common. 

  • Metal-amalgam “silver” fillings – This type of filling uses a mixture of silver, mercury, tin, and copper. It’s very durable, but discolors the tooth, so it’s typically used for rear teeth.

  • Composite fillings – Composite fillings are made of a blend of crushed glass and dental resin. They match the color of your existing teeth perfectly and require less enamel removal during preparation, making them a more cosmetically-pleasing option.

The Dental Filling Procedure

First, your mouth will be cleaned and numbed. Using a dental drill,  Dr. Darrah will remove all of the damaged enamel from your tooth, preparing the cavity for treatment. Once it’s been prepared, he will apply the filling material directly to the cavity, reshaping and restoring the tooth. 

The filling will be hardened, then further trimmed and refined using a dental drill. Finally, Dr. Darrah will check your bite to make sure the filling fits properly, and make any last adjustments, and you’ll be sent home. The entire process usually takes 30-60 minutes.

How To Prepare For A Filling

You don’t need to do anything special to prepare for a filling beyond brushing and flossing your teeth before your appointment. Dr. Darrah and the rest of the team at Buckwalter Dental Care will take care of the rest.

Caring For Your New Filling

All you need to do to care for your new filling is brush and floss regularly and see Dr. Darrah for a cleaning and oral exam every six months. Your newly-restored tooth may be a bit sore and tender for a few days or a few weeks after treatment, but this will fade with time.

Alternatives To Fillings

There are a few different alternatives to fillings. Inlays & onlays, also called “indirect restorations” are similar to fillings, but are made of porcelain or gold. They are not placed immediately after preparing your tooth. Instead, like a crown, they are made at a dental lab, and placed in a separate appointment. They are often used instead of fillings when there’s extensive damage to your tooth, but a crown is not necessary.

Dental crowns are used to treat teeth that are too damaged or decayed for a filling. Crowns cover up and replace the entire tooth structure all the way down to the gum line, making them a better option for protecting the tooth.

Need A Filling? Schedule An Appointment At Buckwalter Dental Care Today! 

If you believe you have a cavity in Bluffton and may need a filling, don’t wait. Call the team at Buckwalter Dental Care right away. You can contact us online or give us a call at (843) 815-3232 to get started, and get an appointment with Dr. Joel Darrah. 

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