Dental fillings are a commonly performed restorative treatment used to reestablish the structure and utility of teeth that have been compromised. Over time, your teeth may decay. You may even experience an external trauma to your mouth that causes damage to your teeth.
For these reasons, among others, your dentist may decide to place a filling. A filling will help to improve the functionality of a tooth and allow you to enjoy strong teeth that are free of deterioration. If you are experiencing tooth pain, oral sensitivity, or discoloration on the surface of a tooth, it may be a sign that you need a filling. Our professionals at Cascade Dental Care can perform an exam to identify tooth decay and place a filling that will restore your tooth.
Comfort During Your Filling Procedure
Part of our job is to ensure the comfort of our patients during all procedures, including fillings. In preparation for a filling, the affected area of the mouth is numbed with a topical gel prior to the injection of a local anesthetic.
Though your mouth will be numb during and directly following the process, this feeling generally wears off within three hours. During that time, refrain from chewing on that side of your mouth to avoid accidentally biting your lips or tongue. Depending on the type of filling you receive the aftercare may vary, so it is important to follow our team’s advice in terms of when it is safe to eat and drink regularly.
Types of Fillings
After the decayed portion of the tooth has been removed with either a laser or drill, there are different types of fillings that may be used to restore the tooth. Gold, silver, and composites that match your tooth color are some of the most common materials utilized to fill teeth. Though gold and silver fillings are generally longer lasting, many patients are attracted to the tooth-like appearance of composites.
While these materials are foreign to the body, the American Dental Association backs their safety as they have been used to fortify damaged teeth for over 100 years. Our team will advise you on the best type of filling for your teeth in order to help you make the right choice for yourself. This decision may be based on your cosmetic preferences, the scope of the cavity, the costs of the varying materials, or the longevity of each type of filling.
Caring for Your Filling
After the filling procedure, it is important to be mindful of your oral hygiene going forward. This will help you to not only maintain the fillings that are already there, but also help you to avoid getting more cavities in the future. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash can help you to preserve or improve your oral hygiene. In addition, avoiding sugary snacks, acidic beverages, and tobacco can assist in keeping both fillings and natural teeth healthy and strong.
If you suspect you have a cavity, or you have experienced some recent trauma to your teeth, a filling can help to reinforce the integrity of your dentition. To learn more about fillings and to schedule your exam, contact Cascade Dental Care at 360-916-4200.