Fillings are essential for your oral health. If you have a cavity, you need to get a filling right away to keep your smile healthy and prevent further complications. If your cavity is left untreated in Bluffton, it can easily progress into a tooth infection, which may require treatment with root canal therapy. Contact us now to get an appointment from Dr. Joel Darrah at Buckwalter Dental Care, or learn more about fillings and cavities below.
Types of Dental Fillings
Wondering what types of dental fillings are available? Most dentists offer a variety of different fillings materials, which can include:
- Metal-amalgam – These fillings use a blend of silver, mercury, tin, and copper to fill your tooth. They are durable and strong, but they look unnatural and result in a grayish tint to your tooth, so they are not very popular.
- Composite – Composite or “tooth-colored” fillings use a tooth-colored blend of crushed glass and dental resin. These fillings are very durable and long-lasting, and also look and feel just like a natural part of your tooth.
- Glass-ionomer cement (GIC) – This type of special glass is typically used for smaller cavities, and is not usually the best choice for extensive fillings, but offers great durability and longevity when used to treat smaller cavities.
Do I Need A Fillings If I Have A Cavity?
In most cases, a filling is the best choice for restoring your smile if you have a cavity. However, if the cavity is particularly large and extensive, a filling may not be a good choice. Very large fillings tend to weaken your tooth structure, which can lead to future complications and damage to your teeth.
So if you have a very large cavity, Dr. Darrah will typically recommend that you get a dental crown instead. Crowns cover up and protect the entire tooth all the way down to the gum line, so they are better suited to treating large, extensive cavities.
What is the filling process like?
The entire process usually takes just 30-60 minutes at Buckwalter Dental Care. Dr. Joel Darrah will begin by cleaning your mouth and numbing the treatment area. You can also be sedated for your comfort, if you want.
Then, Dr. Darrah will drill away some of the enamel from your tooth to prepare it for your filling. Once the cavity has been cleaned and prepared, he will apply the filling material to your cavity layer-by-layer, hardening and adjusting the filling as it’s built.
Once the overall shape is right and the cavity has been filled, Dr. Darrah will check the fit and placement of the filling, and trim it to make any necessary adjustments. This ensures that your bite is not affected by your newly-filled tooth.
Will it hurt to get a filling?
No. The filling process is minimally-invasive and totally pain-free at Buckwalter Dental Care. Your tooth may feel slightly sore and tender for a day or two after your treatment, but the filling procedure itself will not cause you any pain or discomfort.