A dental filling replaces a section of a tooth that has been destroyed by decay. A dentist works to clear away decay that has resulted from a cavity. This helps prevent more damage to the tooth. Unfortunately, clearing away the decay does not help to fix the damage that has resulted in the tooth. This is the job of the filling.
Here, you will learn important facts about fillings and why they are considered to be important.
When tooth decay develops and is allowed to progress, it eventually destroys a part of the tooth that it has negatively impacted. A hole then forms.
This hole is known as a cavity.
If a cavity is not treated immediately, the bacteria will continue to spread and destroy more of the tooth. A dentist will go in and remove this decay. In most instances, a dental drill is used.
This helps to eliminate the possibility that more damage will occur with the tooth. Unfortunately, a filling will be required to fix the damage that has occurred.
The Creation Process
Once a dentist has determined that a filling is required, they will use certain substances – such as composite resin, glass ionomer, and/or silver amalgam – to mold a filling that will fit securely within the damaged tooth.
Once in place, the dental filling works to improve the integrity of the tooth and restore the overall strength of the tooth so that the decay does not spread.
In addition to this, the filling helps to restore the tooth’s full level of health and overall functionality.
The Insertion Process
When a dentist starts the process of inserting the filling, they will initiate it by numbing the tooth to be treated with an injectable local anesthetic. This also numbs the surrounding tissue.
Once the area is completely numb, a special dental drill will be used to eliminate all traces of the decay.
Immediately thereafter, the dental filling will be placed; however, the procedure used for placement will depend on the type of filling that will be used. Below, outlines the process per dental type:
- Composite Resin – For this type of filling – which is also the most common type – the filling will be placed in the tooth in the form of a paste. This will then shape exactly to the shape within the tooth. The filling will be placed in layers until the entire open section is full. As each layer is put into place, it is cured with a special light that is designed to harden the paste. The process is very fast. Once done, the filling resembles the natural tooth and the functionality of that tooth is completely restored.
- Amalgam Filling – This is a type of filling that consists of different types of metals. These include mercury, silver, and even tin. This type of filling does not match the natural tooth. It looks metallic; however, it is cheaper and has a higher level of durability. The metallic substance is packed within the tooth and then carved into shape so that it appropriately matches the contours associated with that tooth. It is much easier to create and place this type of filling into the tooth than the composite resin filling.
Why Are Dental Fillings So Important?
Tooth decay is extremely destructive. When it destroys a section of a tooth, the inner nerves may be exposed. This could result in extreme levels of pain and sensitivity. Additionally, the integrity of the tooth’s structure becomes compromised. The decay infection could also result in further damage and illness.
By putting a dental filling into place, the area that was drilled out is protected. The filling helps to eliminate the chance that the decay will spread and it also helps ensure that the tooth remains fully functional.
The filling helps to ward off potentially dangerous infections that could cause serious illnesses.
Need a Filling?
Does your child have a cavity? If so, it needs to be corrected as quickly as possible. It is imperative that you consult with a pediatric dentist as quickly as possible to set up an appointment for a dental filling.
By taking this step now, you are helping your child by preventing the development of future cavities and ensuring that all of their teeth are strong and have a high level of functionality.
If you would like to learn more about the filling process, or would like to set up an appointment, you may contact us today by calling: 765-966-7602