A dental fillings will not last forever, but it can last for over 20 years when properly maintained. Factors like how well the patient takes care of their teeth and the materials that make up the filling often determine how durable any repairs will be.
Fillings are materials used to seal the holes created by tooth decay. The filling is inserted into the affected tooth and hardens with exposure to air, saliva or curing light. The application of a dental filling is one of the more affordable treatments performed by family dentists, and it takes less than an hour to complete the process.
Cavities are created when oral bacteria convert food particles into acids that eat away at teeth surfaces. Over time, this leads to the formation of holes caused cavities. These holes leave the inner, more sensitive layers of teeth exposed, leading to toothaches, increased sensitivity and food particles getting stuck in these holes.
What to expect when getting a dental filling
The installation of a dental filling starts with the dentist thoroughly examining the patient's damaged teeth. Extensive damage caused by tooth decay might require other solutions, like onlays/inlays or a crown.
The dentist may perform a visual examination of the patient's teeth and use X-rays to examine underneath their gums.
The process of applying dental filling to a tooth starts with the dentist injecting the area around the damaged tooth with a local anesthetic. This prevents the patient from feeling pain as the dentist works on their teeth.
The dentist will then remove decayed material from any teeth that have been damaged by decay. The area is then cleaned and dried. The filling material is added directly to the tooth, and most harden on contact with air or saliva. Fillings made with composite resins need to be hardened with ultraviolet light.
Dental fillings are usually made out of materials like:
- Silver amalgam: This is one of the oldest and most durable ways to fill up cavities; silver amalgam fillings do have a dark grey color that can ruin the appearance of a person's teeth; they also contain mercury, which can be toxic
- Composite resin: These are the most popular way to fill up cavities because of their affordability and great aesthetics; however, these are also one of the least durable types of fillings
- Gold: Gold fillings typically last the longest, they do not blend in with the rest of the patient's teeth (though some patients do like the appearance of gold on their teeth) and they are typically the most expensive type of filling
- Porcelain: Porcelain fillings lead to the best aesthetics, but they are usually pricier than amalgam or composite resin fillings
We can fill up your cavities
Ready to put tooth decay behind you? Call or visit our New York clinic to learn more about how dental fillings can stop tooth decay in its tracks.
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