Dental fillings are familiar to most people. This is a common treatment for tooth decay/cavities which don’t severely damage the tooth (but will, if left untreated).
In the past, most of these fillings were the silver-colored amalgam type, but modern composite fillings can actually resemble the color of the tooth enamel, making them far less noticeable. For those who have metal sensitivities, composite fillings may be a better choice as they are free of mercury.
When would I need a filling?
Dr. Lanie will check your teeth for the signs of tooth decay during your regular dental checkups. Suspicious areas may be tested with a dental probe, and digital X-rays can reveal cavities in places that might not be visible otherwise.
Fillings are a relatively simple process. A local anesthetic will be used to ensure your comfort during the procedure, after which your dentist will clear away the decayed area of the tooth. Once free from decay, the composite material is placed and sculpted into shape. When your dentist is satisfied with the shape of the composite filling, he can harden it through the use of a special curing light. Once done, the filling will be securely bonded to your tooth.
How should I care for my tooth after a filling?
Fillings address the damage caused by tooth decay, but they don’t make the tooth immune to additional decay, or cavities in other parts of the tooth. For this reason, the need for good oral hygiene doesn’t stop once you’ve had a filling. To prevent further tooth decay and keep the rest of the tooth free from cavities, be sure to brush twice a day for two minutes and floss. Use a fluoride toothpaste for extra protection against cavities.