03 Aug 2019
August 3, 2019

How Dental Fillings Work

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How Dental Fillings Work

Close up picture of dental drill in young female patient's mouth

A dental filling is a routine dental procedure that many children and adults have benefited from. It is the most common way that dentists are able to repair cavities. This article will discuss how dental fillings work and other considerations you should know before having cavity dental fillings.

What is a Dental Filling?

A dental filling is a way of filling cavities in your teeth created by tooth decay. It is a restorative dental procedure that can help maintain tooth function, even when tooth decay or trauma has taken place. It seals the tooth and protects the tooth pulp from being painfully exposed to the air. In addition, a dental filling can prevent further decay from the tooth, which can lead to more expensive restorative dental procedures down the line. Filling a small cavity can ensure that you don’t need to have a root canal or dental implant later. It is easy to see why dental fillings are important.

What are Dental Fillings Made From?

Dental fillings can be made from a variety of materials, including composite resin, ceramics, cast gold, silver amalgam, and glass ionomer. Composite resin fillings can be made to closely match your existing teeth in terms of color, but don’t last as long as other types of fillings. Ceramic fillings can be expensive and are fairly stain resistant.

Cast gold dental fillings won’t corrode and last a long time, even though they’re more expensive and require more dental office visits to place. Silver amalgam fillings don’t match the color of your existing teeth but last at least 10 to 15 years. Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride but only last 5 years or less.

Benefits of Dental Fillings

Compared to other restorative dental procedures, dental fillings are quick, inexpensive, and relatively painless. With the use of just some topical anesthetic, a cavity can be filled in just one visit. Plus, dental fillings can prevent the need for more expensive and time-consuming procedures if tooth decay is left to continue developing.

How Dentists Insert Dental Fillings

When it comes to inserting a dental filling, a dentist will first numb the area to prevent any pain or discomfort during the procedure. They will then drill the cavity to remove any decay. They will then place the filling. The exact procedure for filling the cavity will depend on what kind of dental filling is being used and how many sides of the tooth have been impacted by the decay. You’ll generally be able to resume eating and drinking once the topical anesthetic wears off.

Dental fillings are important dental procedures for both children and adults. If your child has a cavity on a baby tooth, your dentist will likely recommend a dental filling to prevent further decay and possible damage to permanent teeth. However, the recommended material used to fill the tooth might vary based on age.

Ready to Get Started?

At Family Dental Care of Bellevue, we are committed to providing quality dental care to our patients and their families. We are proud to have been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. If you are ready to take the first steps toward improving your dental health, we invite you to call 425-643-5778 today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.

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