Tooth Fillings

What Are Fillings?

Tooth Fillings are common dental restorations. We use them to replace part of a tooth that has been damaged or worn away. Through this treatment, the damaged tooth regains strength and durability for biting and chewing.

How Do I Know If I Need Tooth Fillings?

A dental filling is usually needed when a tooth has been damaged. This could be from a cavity or a small crack. Treatment involves removing decayed enamel and inserting the tooth-colored composite material. The purpose of a filling is to prevent further damage caused by oral bacteria while also restoring strength for chewing.

How Do I Know If I Have A Cavity?

Tooth Fillings Clarendon Dental VA

Signs that you may have a cavity include:

  • A persistent, dull toothache
  • Sharp pain in a certain tooth when biting down
  • Sensitivity or pain related to hot and cold foods
  • Persistent bad breath

Many times no symptoms occur to warn of existing tooth damage. Cavities often do not cause discomfort until they have been there awhile. Regular checkups and cleanings are vital to the prevention and early detection of tooth damage such as cavities.

Why Should I Fill My Cavity?

A cavity represents an area of enamel that has been degraded as a result of oral bacteria. The acid that results from bacteria disintegrates enamel bit by bit. Once this process begins, it does not stop on its own. At some point, the tooth will be significantly compromised and more difficult to repair.

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What If I Don’t Fill My Cavity?

The longer a cavity goes without treatment, the deeper the indentation will get. Once acid penetrates the tough shell of enamel that protects the tooth, it will move more quickly through the dentin, which is a softer material. When this happens, the root, blood supply, and nerves of the tooth are susceptible to infection. A root canal is necessary to resolve this problem. If treatment is not obtained at this point, the tooth may be lost or an abscess of infection may develop beneath the affected tooth.

What Causes Decay?

  • Dry Mouth or decreased in saliva
  • Alterations in PH
  • Reflux and sleep disturbances

Why Composite Tooth Fillings?

We have selected to offer only newer filling materials such as composite and glass ionomer restorations because multiple studies suggest potential adverse outcomes from silver fillings. In addition to only placing composite or glass fillings, we also perform filling replacement, carefully removing outdated silver fillings and situating tooth-colored restorations in their place.

There are several reasons patients appreciate composite fillings, including:

  • Composite resin looks like natural tooth material so fillings are not noticed.
  • Less of the tooth needs to be drilled to place a composite filling.
  • Composite fillings are bonded to enamel (silver fillings are held in place by tooth structure).
  • Composite has no metal and will not contract and expand. This reduces the risk of tooth fracture.
  • A composite filling can be repaired if it wears down over time, eliminating the need to remove and replace the entire filling.
  • A composite filling hardens within a few moments.

Tooth Fillings Virginia | Clarendon Dental

How Are Composite Fillings Placed?

Treatment to repair a tooth with a composite filling takes only a few minutes. The process includes:

  • If needed, a local anesthetic will be administered to the tooth
  • We select the best color based on your natural enamel
  • The tooth is cleaned
  • We prepare the tooth for filling by removing decayed enamel
  • A light etching solution is applied to the tooth to help the composite adhere to the enamel
  • Composite is applied to the tooth
  • Light is used to cure (harden) the putty-like composite
  • The drill may be used to shape the tooth
  • A bite-check is conducted to ensure the new filling fits against the opposing tooth
  • The tooth is polished to make the new tooth shine like natural enamel

Disadvantages of Silver FillingsDental Fillings in Virginia

Silver fillings are a combination of various substances, including liquid elemental mercury, silver, copper, and tin. The majority of each silver filling is mercury. Aside from the potential health implications caused by mercury, silver fillings are unappealing because the metal content can lead to tooth injuries as the filling degrades. Metal expands when it gets hot. It contracts when it gets cold. Filling material gets hot and cold whenever we consume food or beverage, which puts teeth at risk for cracks and cavities.

How Do I Know If I Need Tooth Fillings?

A dental filling is usually needed when a tooth has been damaged. This could be from a cavity or a small crack. Treatment involves removing decayed enamel and inserting the tooth-colored composite material. The purpose of a filling is to prevent further damage caused by oral bacteria while also restoring strength for chewing.

How Long Do Fillings Last?

Composite fillings are durable and generally last for 5 to 7 years. However, with good care, these restorations may last longer.

 

 

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