At HomeTown Dental at Irving, we carry out restorative dentistry treatments, such as fillings. Fillings allow us to restore damaged teeth to bring back function, improve your smile, and prevent future oral health problems.
Tooth fillings are one of the most common restorative treatments that are carried out by dentists. They consist of a variety of hard-wearing materials that are used to repair tooth cavities, typically caused by tooth decay.
What to Expect During a Filling Procedure
Depending on the size of the filling, and where it is positioned in the mouth, you should expect to spend 30-60 minutes at our office. The dentist may need to take an x-ray if the filling is in an awkward place at the back of the mouth, but most fillings can be carried out without an x-ray.
Once you have decided on the material, your mouth will need to be numbed with a local anesthetic in the area around the tooth in question. After a few minutes, once the local anesthetic has taken effect, the dentist will begin to remove the decay in the tooth with a drill which should only take a few minutes. Then the tooth will be cleaned, the chosen filling applied to the cavity, and the material left to set for a little while. Once hardened, the dentist will begin to shape and smooth the filling until you are both satisfied with how it looks and feels. The procedure is completed with a quick polish.
Choosing A Filling Material
We will discuss with you the various materials that can be used for your filling, which include silver amalgam, glass ionomer, tooth-colored composite, porcelain, or gold. Most people prefer tooth-colored materials to give a good cosmetic result, but the choice of material used in your filling may be dependent on the suitability of the material for your circumstances.
Amalgam fillings have been used by dentists for more than a hundred years. They are the least expensive of all the filling materials, are incredibly strong, and ideal for filling large teeth in the back of the mouth. However, they do not look as pleasing as other fillings.
Composite (resin) fillings are a better cosmetic solution as they can be matched to the color of your teeth. They are good for small to medium restorations.
Porcelain (ceramic) fillings are tooth-colored and hard-wearing but may be almost as expensive as a gold filling. Porcelain fillings are one of the most popular choices for patients due to the ability to match the teeth surrounding the filling.
Gold fillings are considerably more expensive than amalgam and are very durable. Although not to everyone’s taste, some people like to make a fashion statement with them.
Glass Ionomer is a blend of glass and acrylic. It can be color-matched but is far less durable than other filling materials and may need replacing every five years.
How Do I Know When to Replace a Filling?
For many people, it will be quite obvious when you need to replace a filling as it will break or fall out. Other signs may be pain, discomfort, or sensitivity in your tooth or if you notice that decay is developing around the filling.
Get in touch with us at HomeTown Dental at Irving by calling (682) 204-5777 to find out more about the range of tooth fillings we offer.