Lake Worth, TX
Fillings are used as a restorative technique when a patient experiences a cavity or other type of tooth damage. You must get treatment for these dental issues immediately so that you do not experience infection or further tooth damage. Fillings both protect the teeth and restore functioning that may have been lost through the condition. HomeTown Dental at Lake Worth works with several types of filling. Our dentist can explain each and help you decide on the best material to use.
Why Fillings Are Important
Fillings help repair damage from tooth decay and also prevent further dental issues, similar to dental crowns. These can also help to restore your teeth to a more natural look. Some materials blend perfectly with your natural teeth but are more fragile. Depending on the location of the tooth and its intended function, our dentist will recommend a certain material.
Having a cavity or tooth decay does not just have a negative aesthetic effect, though. These conditions are painful and can also cause infection that can spread, leading to other health issues. Fillings will alleviate symptoms by covering damaged or exposed areas. The nerves and tissues in the tooth are very sensitive and filling the tooth will allow you to eat and drink without pain. Furthermore, fillings also prevent bacteria from getting into the tooth and creating more infection.
Tooth decay also affects how well they function. For instance, people may have difficulty drinking, eating, breathing through the mouth, and talking. Fillings alleviate the pain caused by these activities and let you live a more normal day-to-day life.
Fillings can be used for many different reasons, so there are various materials available. They each have their benefits as well as negative factors and our dentist will discuss these with you. These affect the durability and longevity of the filling as well as the look of the tooth.
There are five types of material commonly used for fillings; amalgam, composite, ceramic, gold, and glass ionomers. Amalgam is a combination of mercury and silver and does not resemble the natural tooth, but it is very strong. Composite is a mixture of fine glass and plastic which closely resembles the tooth and binds directly to it. Ceramic, otherwise called porcelain, matches the natural teeth and are stain resistant. However, they are more expensive and brittle than other materials meaning they are more for aesthetic value. Gold fillings are incredibly strong and durable, but they are also very expensive and do not blend with the natural tooth. Glass ionomer is a mixture of fluoroaluminosilicate (component of glass) and acrylic. These do not perfectly match the teeth, but they are not nearly at noticeable as amalgam or gold. This is a very strong material that is typically used in the case of severe tooth decay.
In general, fillings take an hour to complete. Our dentist may need to take an x-ray before the procedure and will likely administer anesthesia. Some people do not need this if the condition is mild. After the tooth and gum are numb, our dentist drills out any decayed material. They then fill the hole (cavity) with the selected filling material. These materials all set relatively quickly, but our dentist will give you a more specific timeline prior to your procedure. You will also receive after-care instructions that are critically important to follow. To get a filling, contact HomeTown Dental at Lake Worth at (682) 516-3532 and schedule your exam now.