Dental Fillings - Boynton Beach, FL
A tooth filling is a dental procedure in which a material is used to restore a tooth to natural health. Most often, tooth fillings are necessary to treat tooth decay, which is the breakdown of tooth structure from bacteria.
Tooth fillings are an extremely common dental procedure in any dental office. However, most patients do not fully understand why they are needed and how they are completed. So, we decided to write numerous articles about the topic. Below, you can see links to much more information about dental cavities and fillings.
Depending on the type of material, two types of fillings exist:
1. White fillings:
- White fillings are made of a tooth colored material that perfectly matches the shade of your teeth, creating beautiful results.
- Other names for white fillings: Tooth colored fillings, Dental bondings, Cosmetic bondings, and Composite fillings.
2. Silver Fillings:
- Silver fillings use amalgam, a silver colored material, to restore the tooth to its natural shape and contours. Silver fillings are typically used in back teeth because of their strength and longevity.
Before a tooth filling:
- The first step is an evaluation by your dentist, including x-rays, to ensure a tooth filling is necessary.
- Then, you and your dentist will discuss whether a tooth colored filling or silver filling is best for that particular tooth.
- First, your dentist will numb the area so you are comfortable throughout the procedure.
- Next, a dental handpiece (often referred to as a “drill”) is used to remove all of the tooth decay.
- Then, the filling material will be placed:
- If a white filling is used, the material will be adapted to the tooth and shaped. Then, a high intensity blue light is used to harden the material and bond it to the tooth.
- If a silver filling is used, the material will be condensed into the tooth with pressure and then contoured to the correct dimensions.
- The next step is to check that you are biting properly. If the filling is “high” (meaning you are biting too hard on it), the material will be reduced until your bite is correct.
- The final step is to smooth and polish the filling.
- Depending on the size and type, the procedure typically lasts 10 to 20 minutes.
After the procedure:
- You should not eat until the numbing agent wears off, which typically takes about an hour and a half. You may not be aware that your lip is numb and may bite it while chewing
- Following the procedure, teeth are sometimes sensitive to hot or cold food and drinks. Slight sensitivity may occur for a few days. If the sensitivity increases or lasts more than a week, you should contact your dentist.
Does it hurt?
Dr. Eriks has done many, many fillings over the years and can assure you that they are not painful (during or after). We will give you some local anesthesia first and make sure that the tooth is very numb. The anesthesia should be given very slowly and carefully so you do not feel anything at all!
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