Dental fillings are one of the most common restorative dental procedures out there. In fact, the average number of fillings for Americans is three. Fillings are used for restoring your tooth’s function after a cavity has been removed. These are important for eating and speaking, but also for preventing infection in the future. Without fillings, the inner parts of your tooth are susceptible to a variety of bacteria and damages. Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates uses a few different types of filling material, depending on a variety of factors. Our office will give you more information on filling materials and the procedure when you call to schedule your appointment.
Types of Dental Filling Materials
There are many different materials that can be used for dental fillings. The best choice depends on a few different factors, which our dentist will discuss with you prior to scheduling the procedure. For example, some people are more focused on looks and some are more focused on function. Your individual budget, medical insurance, medical history, and function of the tooth all play a role in determining the material.
The materials used in dental fillings include amalgam, composite, glass ionomer, gold, and porcelain. Amalgam is made of both silver and mercury. This material does not match the color of natural teeth, but it is very durable, so it is often used for teeth involved in chewing. Composite is made of powdered ceramic materials that are mixed with resin. This material is less durable but blends well with natural teeth. Glass ionomer bonds directly to your tooth and can also release fluoride, which helps in preventing further tooth decay. It does blend well, but it is one of the weakest materials. Gold filling is made in our dental lab and it is the strongest of all of the materials. It can be expensive and does not blend with your teeth, though. Porcelain is another expensive material, but, unlike the others, it is both strong and blends with your natural teeth.
Dental Filling Procedure
During your initial consultation, our dentist will examine the condition of your teeth to determine the severity of your cavity. They may also need to take a dental x-ray at this time. We will then schedule you for your procedure.
To begin the procedure, our dentist will provide you with a local anesthetic. This will numb your tooth and surrounding tissue. After this, our dentist removes any decayed part of the tooth using a variety of dental tools. The area is cleansed of any bacteria before the cavity is filled with the chosen material. We will use a special type of light that, when projected on the material, hardens the material instantly.
Follow-Up and Self-Care
Dental fillings are strong, but you will need to take some caution over the next few days so as to not damage the filling. Our dentist can provide more specific instructions, but this generally requires you avoid hard or sticky foods. You may also need antibiotics or pain medication, depending on how severe the cavity was. Our dentist will schedule you for a follow-up after the procedure. To schedule a filling, call Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates at 725-257-2220 now.