Fillings are used to repair a tooth damaged by decay, cracks, and minor fractures. They come in a wide variety of materials, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. The excellent durability of silver amalgam fillings, along with their lower cost, often makes them a good choice, particularly in the back of the mouth where they will not be easily seen. When the repair is needed in a visible area of the mouth, however, composite fillings are often a better choice. The advantage of a composite filling is its natural tooth coloration, custom shaded to match the color tone of your teeth, which allows it to become essentially invisible. As always, the dentist will discuss with you the details of each available option, allowing you to make the best choice possible for your individual situation.
What can this procedure repair?
- Tooth decay
- Chipped teeth
- Wide spaces between teeth
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Worn teeth
How is the procedure done?
Fillings can usually be placed in one appointment. The dentist will numb the tooth and remove decay. Then it will be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared for the new filling. In some cases where the decay comes close to the nerve of the tooth, special medication will be applied for added protection. Once the tooth is prepared, the dentist precisely places, sculpts, and polishes the filling, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.
What kind of follow up care should I expect?
Initially, many people experience sensitivity to hot and cold when the filling is first placed. This is temporary, however, and it will fade quickly as your tooth acclimates to the new filling. The dentist will provide general care instructions, and the regular practice of brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings will help extend the life of your new filling. While fillings are durable enough to last for many years, they are not permanent and may someday need to be replaced.