Dental Fillings

What are dental fillings?

Dental fillings are a standard treatment for caries or cavities, which are small holes that form in the teeth as a result of harmful oral bacteria buildup on dental surfaces.

What purpose do dental fillings serve?

The purpose of dental fillings is multifold. Dental fillings fill in holes that caries produce in teeth, and also stabilize and strengthen teeth that may be weakened or damaged by caries or cavities. Fillings are used to not only fill in the hole, fortifying and stabilizing the tooth but also to restore the tooth’s full function, as well as providing an attractive and natural-looking cosmetic solution.

Why is it important to have cavities filled?

Cavities produce a hole or hollow inside of a tooth. In many cases, these holes cause the tooth’s intrinsic structure to become weak. It is extremely important to have cavities filled as soon as they appear in the mouth in order to prevent tooth decay from spreading and causing further damage to the tooth, as well as to the neighboring teeth. If the damage caused by tooth decay is left unattended, the entire tooth could continue to decay, weaken, and fall out. If untreated, tooth decay could spread to the surrounding teeth as well.

The harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay and cavities can also spread to the underlying gum and bone tissue. This can create far more serious dental problems such as gingivitis, gum disease, and periodontal disease, which may require aggressive and costly treatments. Once tooth surfaces have fallen victim to tooth decay, they become even more vulnerable to advanced decay. Once the teeth are damaged, the underlying connective tissue, gums, and bone are also affected.

By filling in cavities promptly and stopping the spread of decay, our dentists can keep cavities from spreading to other surfaces in your mouth. This strengthens your teeth and protects them from further damage.

What are dental fillings made of?
Dental fillings may be made from a variety of materials. Patients may request other metals, such as gold. However, most of our patients today prefer dental fillings made from a more natural-looking material such as porcelain or plastic. The majority of cavities we fill today are filled using composite resin fillings that look and feel like natural tooth enamel.

Are dental fillings painful?
In order to prevent any discomfort during the drilling process, we provide pain-numbing medication prior to performing the procedure. Once the anesthesia wears off, you may use over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate any soreness or tenderness you may experience at the treatment site.

What type of anesthesia do you use for dental fillings?
We use various forms of anesthesia, including nitrous oxide, depending on your needs and preferences.