Dental fillings are needed in order to support damaged or decaying teeth. Over time, despite adequate dental hygiene, you may notice cracked or decaying teeth. Here at OASIS Modern Dentistry and Orthodontics, we can take care of that for you by removing any debris and decaying tissue. It’s not just enough to remove the unhealthy part of the tooth, but it’s also important to fill the remaining cavity for support.
Fortunately, getting a filling is completely painless. The first step of the procedure is to inject the area surrounding the affected tooth with a local anesthetic. The anesthetic should numb the tooth as well as the surrounding gum entirely. At most, the only thing you may feel is pressure.
Dentists have a host of materials to choose from, and we’re no different here at OASIS Modern Dentistry and Orthodontics in Houston. The most commonly used types are amalgam, composite, ceramic, metals, and glass isomers.
Amalgam fillings are very resilient and not too expensive, but they’ll probably be noticeable when you smile. Metals like gold and silver can last up to 15 years. Gold is much more expensive for obvious reasons, but some people prefer the way it looks.
Composite and ceramic fillings have the advantage of matching the color of teeth. If your primary concern is appearance, then these should do the trick. Ceramic fillings are more resistant to staining compared to their composite counterparts, although they are also more expensive.
Glass isomers are the least durable type of the 5. Their primary advantage is that they secrete fluoride, which can protect the surrounding teeth from bacteria and decay.
Many factors go into how soon you’ll have to replace a dental filling. For example, we mentioned how glass isomers aren’t very durable and will likely need replacing every couple of years. Alternatively, metal and amalgam fillings can list a decade and sometimes a little more.
In any case, if you actually feel or notice a filling falling out of your mouth, then you need to replace it. It’s also okay if you don’t pay too much attention to your feelings. Dr. Arthur will inform you when something needs to be replaced at your checkups.