When a small area of your tooth begins decaying, it creates a cavity. If left untreated, that cavity can result in pain and discomfort, making it difficult to use the tooth as normal. One of the simplest ways to remedy a decaying tooth is with a dental filling. For patients with minor cavities, fillings are typically the first line of defense and usually all that is required to restore the full functionality of the teeth.
At Snow Family Dentistry, we are pleased to provide fillings as needed to our patients. We invite you to learn more about dental fillings.
What Are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are an important part of restorative dentistry. They involve the dentist removing the part of the tooth that has been affected by decay, then filling the hole with a material that ensures the tooth’s ongoing integrity and functionality.
In some cases, fillings may also be used to treat other minor dental health problems. For example, fillings can sometimes be used to repair teeth that have become chipped or broken. For patients who have worn down their teeth with habits like nail-biting, a filling may provide a simple, effective solution.
The Process of Dental Fillings
What can patients expect when they visit Snow Family Dentistry to have their teeth filled? The first step in the process is always a thorough evaluation. Through both medical imaging and a physical examination, Dr. Snow will determine the location and severity of any tooth decay, noting the total number of fillings or other restorative treatments that are required.
Before applying the filling, Dr. Snow will provide anesthesia. Most typically, we use a local numbing agent on the gums. Next, the decaying part of the tooth is removed, often with a simple drill.
Dr. Snow will probe and test the tooth further, verifying that all decay has been removed. The space left in the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, at which time the filling is added, and the tooth itself is polished.
Types of Dental Fillings
There are a number of materials that may be used for dental fillings. They vary in terms of their aesthetics as well as their affordability. Some of the most common types of fillings include:
- Silver amalgam
- Composite fillings (made of resin and plastic)
- Ceramic fillings (porcelain)
- Glass ionomer fillings
- Gold fillings
Before your fillings are put in, Dr. Snow will be happy to talk with you about the options and to help you determine the type of filling best suited for your oral health needs.
How Long Do Fillings Take?
The amount of time required to have a cavity filled varies depending on the size of the cavity as well as its location. Generally, patients can anticipate that the entire process will last anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour.
Get Fillings at Snow Family Dentistry
If you have a decaying tooth that requires a filling, we urge you not to wait. Get it looked at before the cavity becomes even more serious or the pain even more intense.
To make an appointment for a filling, contact Snow Family Dentistry.