Healthy teeth are the gateway to a healthy lifestyle.
Poor dental health can damage not only your teeth but also affect your eating practices.
A dental filling, or tooth filling, is an effective technique to fill the decayed area of a tooth. It provides support to the affected tooth to save the pulp and root from receiving damage.
If you develop a cavity, getting treatment right away is critical.
At Timothy H. Kindt, DDS, we can fix cavities when you come in to get a filling at our Mesa, AZ practice.
How Cavities Form
Cavities are a result of tooth decay. Every day, plaque and oral bacteria build up in your mouth. Plaque is naturally acidic in nature. Bacteria, which thrive on the sugars that linger in your mouth, produce acids as they eat.
When left on your teeth too long, the acids begin to eat away at your enamel. Eventually, small pits, or cavities, form. Brushing and flossing removes this buildup from your teeth.
However, even those who are consistent in their oral care routine may miss spots, and can, therefore, develop cavities. Untreated cavities continue to grow larger as bacteria continue to destroy the structure of the affected tooth.
Eventually, cavities can grow into the inner layer of the tooth, which can lead to infections and the spread of bacteria into the bloodstream.
Types of Tooth Fillings
Over the decades, dentists have revolutionized their practices to work around tooth decay problems. You can opt for one of the various dental fillings for your tooth.
Each type has its pros and cons that may help you decide.
However, you may need to remember that dental fillings may not be the ultimate solution to restore tooth structure.
Worsened cases may require other restorative dental procedures to heal the underlying tooth problems.
Here are the common dental fillings used by most dentists worldwide.
Cast Gold Dental Filling
Cast gold fillings are widely popular for their long-lasting durability and strength to withstand pressures.
Dental patients opt for cast gold fillings to eat carefree for the next several years. Since gold has impressive durability properties, the filling can survive for 10-15 years.
While there are many pros to choosing cast gold fillings, they can cost you more than other materials like silver.
Silver (Amalgams) Fillings
Silver, or amalgam dental fillings offer great durability to the tooth structure. Many patients opt for it due to its long-lasting durability and affordability.
Silver dental fillings can handle chewing pressures for up to 15 years. While true, this filling type may require more space to hold it in place. Unlike a gold filling, silver can undergo discoloration in the long run.
Although widely popular for ensuring sound tooth structure remains, silver dental fillings are more likely to receive cracks due to an increased degree of expansion.
The process for placing amalgam fillings is relatively simple and can be completed in just one visit. We start by cleaning the teeth.
Next, a local anesthetic is placed. The decay is drilled away from the cavity.
The amalgam is packed into the tooth, smoothed, and then dried. When dried, its protection begins immediately.
A relatively less popular dental filling is a tooth-colored, or composite filling. Many patients opt for this type due to its similar color to the tooth.
While it may not be a concern for many, some patients are highly conscious about their dental appearance. Dr. Kindt often uses colored composites to repair broken or chipped teeth.
Despite their affordability, colored fillings may only last up to five years. Moreover, it can chip off in some areas due to extensive chewing pressure.
Composite resin fillings can be placed in one of two ways.
The first way is similar to how amalgam fillings are placed. After a local anesthetic, the decay is removed from the cavity. Depending upon your circumstances, you may not even need an anesthetic.
Because of the nature of the composite resin, and how it works with the tooth, less of the structure of your tooth needs to be drilled away. The material is placed in the tooth, dried, and polished.
The other method for composite resin placement is known as an indirect filling. With this type of filling, two appointments are required.
During the first appointment, the decay is removed, and an impression is made. This impression is then sent to a lab, where your filling will be created. A temporary filling is placed in the meantime.
Once the filling is ready, which can often take about two weeks, you return for a second visit. We check the filling for fit and color and cement it into place.
Other Dental Fillings
Apart from the fillings mentioned above, you can also find ceramic and glass ionomer fillings for your teeth problems. These types may not be as durable as gold and silver fillings. We recommend consulting with us at Timothy H. Kindt, DDS to get expert dental assistance.
Taking Care of Your Teeth
Most dental problems root back to poor oral hygiene. Due to busy routines, you may find it difficult to develop and maintain an oral cleaning routine. However, spending a few minutes every night before sleeping for brushing and flossing can save you from infections and tooth decay.
We recommend using the prescribed oral health products to avoid gum problems. Make sure and schedule your regular teeth cleaning every six months.
Schedule a Tooth Filling with Your Dentist in Mesa, AZ!
Prompt treatment for cavities prevents serious issues from occurring while restoring the health of the affected tooth. If you suspect that you have a cavity, contact Timothy H. Kindt DDS at (480) 939-5818 to schedule your consultation today.