Restore and Repair a Tooth
When a tooth has a cavity or is cracked or broken, a dentist uses a filling to repair it. Most people will need at least one filling in their lives. Dental fillings are a great way to restore a tooth's appearance and prevent further damage from occurring. Contact us today if you have a cavity, a chipped or cracked tooth, or to learn more about fillings. Our skilled dentists offer dental fillings at all of our offices in Amarillo, Dumas, Canyon, Farwell, and Dalhart, TX.
Do I Need a Tooth Filling?
If you've been told you have a cavity in one or more teeth, you will likely need a dental filling. At your regular dental checkups, your dentist examines the surfaces of each tooth for weakened parts, discoloration, or sensitive areas. If the dentist discovers any of these conditions or a crack or chip in a tooth, he will recommend a filling.
By having a dental filling, you improve your oral health and oral hygiene by eliminating the source of tooth decay and protecting the tooth. Be sure to maintain proper dental care to get the most out of your tooth filling.
Types of Fillings
There are several types of fillings available, and our dentists will help determine the right choice for your desired aesthetics and budget.
- Gold Fillings. Gold fillings are strong and can withstand great chewing force. They last for many years and patients may prefer their gold appearance instead of a more natural-looking type of filling. Gold fillings typically cost more than other fillings.
- Silver (Amalgam) Fillings. These fillings are resistant and relatively inexpensive. Dental amalgams are made of a combination of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. They have a darker, silver-like appearance and are more ideal for less visible areas.
- Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings. These fillings are made from a variety of composite material that closely matches the color of your other teeth. They are less durable than gold or silver and can become stained, but yield natural-looking results. Composite fillings are less expensive and are great for smaller areas, like chips, cracks, or small cavities.
- Porcelain Fillings. Also called inlays or onlays, porcelain fillings are created in a lab and then bonded to your tooth. They are resistant to staining and custom-made to match the color of your other teeth. This ceramic material is long-lasting, and the cost is similar to a gold filling.
The Dental Filling Process
When you visit our dental office, we will take X-rays of your teeth and evaluate your dental health. Prior to any treatment, we discuss your options for anesthesia. Most tooth fillings are completed using local anesthesia, which only numbs the area.
If you have a cavity, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth by using a drill to access the infected portion. He will shape the area for the filling inside the tooth. If you're receiving a filling on the outside of a tooth, your dentist will etch the tooth's enamel so the filling bonds to the tooth.
If you receive a composite resin filling, we may use a light to harden the material. Your dentist will grind and polish the tooth for its final appearance. We may use a temporary filling if your fillings require multiple appointments, if you've recently had a root canal, or treat irritated dental pulp. After you receive a temporary filling, you will return to our office for another appointment to have the final filling placed.
What Happens After a Filling?
After you leave our office, you may notice some increased sensitivity around the tooth that was filled. This is normal and usually resolves in a few weeks. Prolonged sensitivity that lasts over 2 weeks should be reported to your dentist.
Your filling is now a part of your smile and should be cared for just like your other teeth with regular oral hygiene. Brush and floss twice per day, and remember to attend regular checkups with your dentist every 6 months.
If you experience immediate pain or pressure when biting down, contact our office. This can occur if the filling is too tall, which your dentist can easily correct.
Your Full-Service Dental Health Provider
Contact Full Smile Dental today. Our team of specialists are dedicated to giving you a healthy, confident smile for life.