Are you tired of dealing with a cracked, chipped, or decayed tooth? A dental filling may be the perfect solution for you! It’s an easy procedure that can quickly alleviate your discomfort. In this blog post, we will discuss what dental fillings are, the available types, details on how they are applied, and aftercare advice to help ensure a successful treatment. So if you’re considering getting a dental filling, read on to learn more about it!
What is a dental filling?
Dental fillings are used to treat tooth decay and damage. They are materials placed in the teeth to repair cavities, filling the holes that have formed on your tooth due to tooth decay. Different types of dental fillings are available, depending on what material they are made from.
Fillings can be made from metals like gold or silver, porcelain/ceramic, composite resin material, or a mix of two or more of these materials. The choice is typically determined by how long you want your filling to last and whether it is visible when you smile. For example, metal fillings often last longer than porcelain fillings because the metal does not easily break down over time as porcelain does. Also, metal fillings are less visible than ceramic fillings, which appear when you smile and may be more susceptible to breakage.
Types of Dental Filling
When it comes to dental filling, there are three main types: Amalgam Fillings, Composite Fillings, and Resin-bonded Bridges. Each type has its advantages depending on the nature of the tooth damage. Here is a brief overview:
The most common among all the rest, this dental filling involves placing an amalgam (mercury alloy) that can withstand chewing forces over weakened enamel or root canal surfaces. It is also suitable for back teeth where there is no cavity present. Since it is highly resistant to decay and can last up to 15 years without significant issues, many people pick this option when dealing with fillings.
Composite fillings are the best option to address cavities and other minor tooth damage. It is a newer technology that does not involve mercury amalgams. This filling offers a better aesthetic appearance than the other two types because it can be matched perfectly with your natural teeth color, making it visibly undetectable. Composite resin is also more resistant to fracture than its predecessors, making it ideal for areas prone to wear and tear, such as the front teeth or molars.
For bigger restorations in specific areas of your mouth, this is generally preferred since it has high durability against repetitive forces such as chewing food or grinding teeth at night. Resin-bonded bridges are anchored at the back of your teeth, so it is not visible. But just like composite fillings or amalgams, resin-bonded bridges do not last forever and will require replacement in about 7 to 10 years.
How is a dental filling procedure done?
A dental filling is a procedure that involves the use of a composite resin to fill the tooth cavity. Cavities can be caused by several factors, such as:
1) Poor oral hygiene – When you don’t brush your teeth properly, it allows plaque and tartar form on your teeth, which can lead to cavities or even gum disease.
2) Not flossing enough – Flossing helps remove food particles between your teeth and gums, which can cause damage if left unchecked.
3) Consuming too much sugar – Sugary snacks and drinks like candy, soda, and juice provide fuel for bacteria in your mouth to grow and produce acids that eat away at the enamel. As the enamel on your teeth wears away, cavities can form.
4) Smoking or chewing tobacco can chew away at enamel and cause bacteria-laden saliva to pool around the gums and teeth.
5) Not getting enough important nutrients – Your body needs vitamins A, C, D, calcium, and phosphorus in order to keep your teeth healthy. If you don’t get these nutrients from food or other sources like supplements, your risk of developing cavities goes up.
To prevent the dental filling from taking place:
1) Practice good oral hygiene habits
Brush 2-3 times a day for two minutes each time with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste; floss once daily; use mouthwash if recommended by your dentist or doctor; and avoid things that can stain your teeth, like coffee, tea, red wine, or soda.
2) Eat a healthy diet
Eat a diet rich in calcium, protein, and vitamins A, C, D, and phosphorus. Reach for high-fiber foods like vegetables and fruits instead of sugary snacks and drinks.
3) Get regular dental checkups
Have your teeth cleaned at least twice a year by your dentist. This will help remove any plaque buildup that has occurred since the last time you visited. Additionally, routine dental visits allow your dentist to spot any early signs of cavities or other oral health problems so they can be addressed before they become serious.
4) Avoid tobacco use
Smoking or chewing tobacco can chew away at the enamel on your teeth over time, damaging them with tar and acid from the tobacco products themselves. Additionally, it can leave your breath smelling and cause plaque buildup that is difficult to remove.
5) Be mindful of your habits
Always pay attention to pain or sensitivity in your teeth. If you experience discomfort while eating or drinking, see a dentist immediately to address the problem before it becomes more severe and requires a dental filling.
What are the side effects of dental filling
Dental fillings’ most common side effects are sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures and minor pain. These symptoms usually disappear after a few days as the mouth adjusts to the filling. Other possible side effects include:
- Swelling of the gums near the filled tooth
- temporary numbness in the lip, tongue, or cheek
- irritations from materials used for fillings, such as metal alloys
- infection at the site where the filling was placed
- taste changes due to certain materials that may leach into saliva
If you experience any of these side effects after a dental filling, contact your dentist immediately so they can address them quickly. Your dentist may prescribe a pain reliever or adjust the filling if necessary. With proper care, your dental fillings should last for many years with few complications. If you experience discomfort or unusual symptoms after a dental filling, contact your dentist promptly for an appointment.
In rare cases, a person may be allergic to certain materials used in dental fillings, such as mercury. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include hives, swelling around the mouth and lips, and difficulty breathing. If you suspect that you’re experiencing an allergic reaction to the material used in your filling, seek medical attention immediately.
What are the aftercare instructions for dental filling
After getting a dental filling, it is important to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your dentist. This will help ensure that the dental filling stays in place and lasts for many years.
Here are some tips on how to care for a dental filling:
- Limit hard and sticky foods from your diet. These can cause the dental filling to become dislodged or break off.
- Avoid too much sugary food and drinks as this could increase the risk of cavities forming around the area of the dental filling.
- Brush twice daily with toothpaste containing fluoride and floss at least once a day to eliminate any food particles stuck between teeth and around the dental fillings.
- Avoid biting your fingernails or chewing on hard objects, as this could cause the dental filling to become loose.
- Visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings so that any problems with the dental filling can be detected early.
- If you experience pain, sensitivity, or any other discomfort in the area of your dental filling, contact your dentist right away.
Follow these tips, and you will ensure that your new dental filling lasts many years!
We hope this information helps you understand how to properly take care of it after treatment. Always remember to follow up with regular visits to your dentist and keep your teeth and gums healthy!