Here at Geelan Dental Care, we understand that tooth decay is a very common occurrence and are happy to help in restoring tooth function and comfort. Fillings are an ideal way of filling up the gap left by removed decayed tooth matter. Tooth decay often leads to health complications like pain, tooth loss, and even nerve damage. It is important to attend regular dental exams so that any further damage can be stopped and the affected tooth repaired.
Types of Fillings
There are different types of materials that can be used to fill up a cleaned-out cavity. We can help in making the most appropriate choice suited to the particular extent of damage, location of the tooth, cost, and possible allergies.
Gold fillings are highly durable, with many lasting over two decades. Although quite expensive, they are well tolerated by the gum tissues. Silver or amalgam fillings are less expensive but also very durable. They are, however, more noticeable to the eye thanks to the darker color of the material and are typically used to fill teeth that are not front facing.
Composite or plastic fillings are best for achieving a natural look as they can be customized to match your tooth color. They do, however, often become easily stained and have a shorter life span. They will require replacement every few years. Porcelain fillings or inlays are often used for filling larger sized cavities. They can also be customized in terms of color and are stain resistant. They are however, also more costly than composite.
The Filling Process
We first conduct a dental exam to determine if any teeth have suffered from tooth decay. This exam involves a close inspection of all tooth surfaces. This is done using a small mirror and a light. If there are any indications of tooth decay, we will use dental instruments to make a closer examination. If extensive damage is suspected, an x-ray may be carried out.
Once the affected tooth is identified, we will first remove all the decayed material and thoroughly clean out the area. This is important to avoid leaving behind any bacteria that may continue causing damage. Having decided on the most suitable type of filling, we can then apply it. With a composite filling, the mixture can be immediately prepared and applied to the cavity where it hardens. Other options like gold and porcelain will have to be made in the laboratory and then cemented into the cavity.
Tooth decay is a very common problem, but one that requires urgent attention to avoid future complications, including a root canal. With time, plaque buildup in the tooth will cause ongoing eroding of the enamel. As tooth enamel erodes, the decay will grow. This can result in increased pain, sensitivity, stains, and even holes in teeth. The decay can also deepen and result in nerve damage and possible loss of the entire tooth.
Because tooth decay in its earliest stages is painless, it is important to have regular checkups that will pick up on the problem in good time. To make an appointment with Geelan Dental Care, call us on (971) 323-1990 today.