The Purpose of a Filling
A filling is used to fill the hole left by a cavity in a tooth to prevent further decay and repair the tooth. It can also provide additional structure to the tooth that sustained decay. A filling can help save a tooth from cavities and decay.
Fillings stick to the areas that had decayed and fill up the space so no food or bacteria can get into the tooth. It seals the tooth from debris.
Benefits of Getting a Dental Filling
Dental fillings protect teeth from further decay and can look like your natural tooth. They provide additional reinforcement to the tooth structure to allow it to function normally.
Types of Fillings
Patients may be surprised to learn there are different types of filling substances to choose from when getting the procedure. The most common over the decades is the amalgam, which is the silver filling.
Today, you can get fillings that match your tooth so they aren’t obvious. Fillings can be made from composite resin, ceramic and glass ionomer as well as metals.
Costs of Fillings
Getting a tooth filled is one of the less expensive dental procedures. The cost of a filling procedure depends on the substance used for the filling. Be aware that some materials are going to last longer so consider that when looking at cost.
Composite resin is popular because it’s one of the cheaper options but looks natural. Amalgam fillings are both inexpensive and durable. Fillings can last anywhere from five years to 15 years.
Getting a tooth filled involves some discomfort but normally doesn’t involve any pain. The dentist may give you a local anesthetic before the procedure. You will fill some pressure but won’t fill any instruments or work done for the procedure.
Use of Tooth
Decay can cause a tooth to become misshaped or reduce its function. Fillings are a restorative procedure that brings the tooth’s natural shape back. It can restore size as well as improve the function of the tooth. You should have full function shortly after the procedure.
Fillings prevent the tooth from getting a cavity again or from the original cavity expanding. The dentist cleans out the decay and seals the tooth so it won’t be prone to further decay. The filling fills the hole so there’s no room left for debris or bacteria.
Four Steps in Getting a Dental Filling
1. Applying a Gel
Dentists typically use a numbing gel rather than an injection to numb the gum where the work will be done. This only takes a few minutes for the effect to occur.
2. Use of Tools
The dentist will then use tools, typically a small drill, to clean out the decayed portion of the tooth. You may hear a drill noise and see some dust but this doesn’t hurt. You will feel pressure.
3. Filling the Hole
The dentist then fills the hole left by the cavity with the filling material. They finish the work by adding a sealant so nothing can enter.
The dentist may make some adjustments so the patient’s bite feels normal. Then finish the procedure by polishing the filling to blend it into the natural tooth naturally. A composite filling will require UV light to harden
Schedule a Consulation about a Fillings
Frequently Asked Questions About Fillings
How long does the procedure take?
Getting a filling takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on how complex the case is.
Can you eat after getting a tooth filled?
A filling doesn’t prevent you from eating or drinking immediately after the procedure. Most dentists advise not to use straws because the sucking can move the filling until it completely hardens. Also don’t eat sticky or chewy foods.
What if my tooth still hurts?
Your tooth shouldn’t have a lot of pain afterward. Don’t touch the filling trying to figure it out. Call your dentist for another appointment to have another evaluation.