Fillings are usually used to fill cavities, and can also be used to replace lost material due to teeth grinding (bruxism) or to repair a broken section of tooth material. If you have a tooth that needs filling, our team at Erik P. Cadra DMD is here to provide the best possible care.
Sooner Than Later
If your regularly scheduled exam has revealed a cavity, you will want us to attend to it right away. Delaying treatment can lead to more extensive work, as decay can spread to the tooth’s internal tissues. Prompt attention can minimize the need for further treatment.
What to Expect
Your cavity filling appointment will take about an hour, including discussion of the procedure you’re about to have and any additional preparation, such as taking supplemental x-rays. A topical numbing agent will be applied to your gums and the surrounding area, in preparation for the injection of the second numbing agent, which is for your teeth. Once you are comfortably numb, the decay will be drilled out and the resulting space will be filled. The procedure is fairly quick, taking as little as twenty minutes, and is usually painless. If needed, multiple fillings can be done in one appointment.
Fillings can be made of several different materials. Amalgam is the oldest and least expensive. It is silver in color, and is made of a blend of several metals, including silver, tin, and copper. It is also strong and long lasting.
Composite fillings are a combination of glass and quartz. They are tooth colored and fairly durable. They are a good choice for medium to small cavities, and areas that are used for moderate chewing.
Gold fillings are another type of amalgam, are very strong, and are very long lasting. Some people prefer the appearance of gold fillings. They are also the most expensive.
A ceramic filling is made of porcelain, and is tooth colored like the composite type. Ceramic fillings are durable and long lasting. They are more resistant to staining than composite, and are also more expensive.
Glass Ionomer fillings are a blend of acrylic and glass. They are made to release protective fluoride into the surrounding tooth material over time. They are the least durable and have the shortest life expectancy, but there are special circumstances that may call for their use.
Taking Care of Your New Fillings
Remember to resume your normal good oral hygiene routine. Your fillings should not require any special care outside of proper brushing and flossing. You might experience some temporary sensitivity or mild discomfort after getting a new filling, but this should subside over time. If you find it too uncomfortable, there are toothpaste and floss products designed for sensitive teeth and gums.
Your new fillings are strong and durable, but they will eventually wear out and will need replacing. If you notice signs of wear or damage, alert us so we may provide you with a new replacement filling.
Erik P. Cadra DMD is ready to provide you with the best possible experience with your new filling, and we look forward to restoring your teeth. Call us at 661-502-6990 with any additional questions you might have.