What is a Tooth Filling?
A tooth filling or dental fillings are used to improve the appearance and functionality of teeth affected by damage or decay. The filling materials help to even out tooth surfaces for more efficient biting and chewing. These restorations can last for many years and help keep the tooth looking and functioning at its best.
Types of Fillings
Restorations can be made from a number of different materials;
Composite fillings are made of a glass or quartz filler within a resin medium that produces a tooth-colored material. They are often used in small to mid-size restorations, as they provide strength, durability and resistance to fracture. The shade of composite fillings is made to closely match the patient’s actual teeth, so that other people will not be aware that dental work has been done.
Glass ionomers are also tooth-colored fillings that are made of a mixture of acrylic and glass, and are most often used in young children, as they release fluoride. However, this material is weaker than composites and usually lasts less than five years before a replacement is needed.
Amalgam fillings have been used for many years and are strong, durable and relatively inexpensive compared to other materials. Although effective, many patients do not choose to use amalgam fillings because of their silver color that can be visible while eating, speaking or smiling.
Dental Filling Procedure
When a dental filling is performed, the affected tooth is cleaned and prepared for the filling by using a dental handpiece or laser to remove decay. The filling material is inserted and is then polished so that it matches the colors of the natural teeth. Dental fillings are completed during a single visit to the office.
Some patients may require further treatment after a filling procedure. This would apply to patients who need a crown, implant, or bridge placed. If a tooth is severely damaged or infected, a root canal may be necessary.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like more information about dental fillings, contact our Dallas, TX office today! Call (855) 422-0224 to schedule a consultation today.