What Are Dental Fillings?
A tooth filling involves the removal of the damaged and decayed parts of a tooth and filling the cavity with a replacement material designed to protect against further deterioration. The procedure restores your tooth's health, function, shape, and integrity. If left untreated, decayed teeth may need involved treatments, including root canal therapy or extraction, which may require crowns, implants, or dentures. While dental fillings are typically used as a solution for cavities, they are also used to repair broken, chipped, cracked, or worn teeth.
What Are the Common Types of Fillings?
Amalgam fillings, also known as silver or metal fillings, have been used safely for decades. They offer the most affordable option to restore our teeth as compared to other types of restorations. Their main advantages of amalgam fillings are strength and longevity. However, their silver color may interfere with your smile.
Composite Resin Fillings:
Also known as white or tooth-colored fillings, composite resin fillings are made up of powdered glass and acrylic resins. They are matched to your existing teeth, providing an aesthetic restorative solution. Composites work best for small to mid-sized cavities in teeth with moderate chewing pressure. They are usually the choice for restoring front teeth, and can also be used to repair chipped, broken, or worn teeth.
Porcelain or ceramic fillings offer a durable, aesthetic solution. They deliver incredibly natural looking and feeling results. These restorations are resistant to staining and can last more than 15 years.
Direct vs. Indirect Fillings
Direct fillings are dental restorations used for small to average-sized cavities, typically requiring a single visit to complete. Indirect fillings, on the other hand, repair extensive damage with insufficient tooth structure left to support a direct restoration, but not enough damage to warrant the use of a dental crown. Indirect fillings are fabricated at a dental laboratory and are placed during a follow-up appointment.
Indirect fillings include inlays and onlays. Inlays are placed on the chewing surfaces of the tooth within the cusps, while onlays, also known as partial crowns, fill the cavity and replace one or two of the tooth's cusps. Indirect fillings are durable, with the potential of lasting a lifetime!
What Is the Filling Procedure?
We will numb the area using a local anesthetic for your comfort. We will remove the tooth decay and place a filling in the cleaned out cavity and then will shape it to look and feel like your natural teeth. Depending on the type of material, we may use a curing light to harden the filling.
An indirect filling requires additional steps. After removing the decay, then we will take an impression to send to a dental laboratory. We will place a temporary filling to protect your teeth while waiting for your restoration. When ready, we will check the fit of your inlay or onlay and will permanently cement it in place.
Dental Fillings Near Me
Contact Lake Belton Family Dentistry and Dentures in Temple, TX, to learn more about dental fillings and how they can restore your smile. With our commitment to delivering outstanding, gentle dental care, you can trust that your smile is in capable hands. Call us today!