Dental fillings are one of the most frequently performed restorative treatments. Even with excellent home oral hygiene and keeping up with your cleanings and checkups, it is possible to develop a small cavity. At Atlantic Dentistry we recommend that cavities be treated as soon as they are identified. This will help to keep a small cavity from developing into a much more serious concern.
Understanding Dental Fillings
A restorative treatment, the dental filling will repair damage done to a tooth. The filling restores the shape and functionality of the tooth. Damage could be as the result of a cavity and decay, or due to an injury the tooth sustained. Cavities, minor chips, and cracks can be repaired with dental fillings.
Any signs of decay will be removed, and the cavity space will be filled with a biocompatible material. This prevents the bacteria in the mouth from causing further damage to the tooth.
There are a number of materials used for fillings, including gold, amalgam, porcelain and composite resin. Fillings are considered to be fairly routine.
The Dental Filling Procedure
The procedure for getting a dental filling can be completed in a single office visit, and typically takes less than an hour. The first step will be to ensure that the tooth and the surrounding gums are completely numb. You will not feel any discomfort during the procedure. Using dental tools, all signs of decay will be removed from the tooth.
The space left by the cavity will be disinfected. This now sterile cavity will be filled with the appropriate filling material that is best for the tooth and the location of the tooth. A curing light will be used to set the filling.
Some minor adjustments to the shape of the tooth will be done so that your bite is not changed. The adjustments and smoothing will be done, and then the tooth will be polished. Before you leave the office, our dentist will ensure that you can floss smoothly between each tooth.
Caring for Fillings
Fillings are almost impossible to see when they are made from composite resin. They are, in effect, a part of your natural tooth. Taking care of your fillings is as easy as taking care of your natural teeth. Maintain healthy brushing and flossing habits. Avoid chewing ice or hard candies to avoid damaging your teeth and your fillings.
If your filling is damaged or falls out, do not hesitate reaching out to our dentist. Neglecting to replace the filling opens your tooth up to the potential for rapidly advancing bacteria and decay. The potential for needing root canal therapy will increase exponentially.
Most oral health concerns can be prevented with healthy habits that include brushing, flossing, and using an alcohol-free mouthwash. Keeping your routine appointments for a professional dental cleaning and a checkup will also help to keep many cavities at bay. These twice-a-year appointments provide an opportunity for our dentist to examine each of your teeth, while our hygienist will address any tartar between your teeth and around the gumline.
The sooner that a cavity is diagnosed, the sooner our dentist will be able to restore it. Neglecting even a small cavity can result in the decay spreading further into the tooth, and into other teeth. There is also the increased risk for needing root canal treatment, or potentially facing the loss of one or more teeth. Schedule a checkup or professional cleaning with us at Atlantic Dentistry.
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13920 Old St Augustine Rd, Suite 103 Jacksonville, Fl 32258-5561