A dental filling is a standard tool used by dentists to help treat cavities. Fillings can stop a cavity from getting worse and can prevent infection from spreading through your mouth. In addition, fillings will preserve your natural teeth, allowing you to show off your white, bright, and healthy smile. Crosby Dentistry provides dental fillings as an effective solution for our patients of all ages.
What Is a Dental Filling?
Sometimes, decay can take hold deep within a tooth. Over time, the decayed area of the tooth becomes prone to infection, which may spread throughout the tooth and into the gums. Dental fillings offer a safe and easy solution.
A dental filling plugs the hole in the tooth where infection and decay have taken hold. By sealing the cavity in your tooth, we can keep as much of your natural tooth structure intact as possible. Filling cavities can help strengthen your existing tooth while also preventing the spread of decay and infection through your mouth.
Are There Different Types of Fillings?
Our patients have several options for dental fillings, consisting of three main types:
- Resin: This is the most common and popular type of dental filling. Our team mixes the resin material with specific colors to match the natural color of your tooth. This feature makes the filling nearly imperceptible, mimicking the look and feel of a natural tooth. Resin is strong and is usually the most economical option for patients. It is perfect to use on the front teeth and will only occasionally be applied to back molars. Resin dental fillings are quick to apply, and the procedure can be finished in just one visit.
- Porcelain: This is another standard option very similar to resin. The porcelain color can also be custom-designed to give you a natural look. Compared to resin, though, porcelain is a much stronger material. This type of dental filling is ideal for back molars that receive wear and tear from chewing. However, porcelain fillings are more costly than resin, and it usually takes multiple appointments to apply this material to a cavity.
- Metal amalgam: This type of filling is an ideal option to repair cavities. Metal fillings are strong and are perfect to use on back molars. The metal adheres and sets quickly, and the filling can last for years with the right care. Metal fillings can be visible and will not blend with your natural tooth color. However, if used on back molars, they are rarely seen. Metal dental fillings are made with safe, bio-friendly metals that won’t harm the body.
What Happens During a Cavity Filling?
Cavities are often caused by decay and infection which has formed within the tooth. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, we must first thoroughly remove the infection from your mouth. By cleaning out the infection entirely, we can ensure the decay will not spread to otherwise healthy teeth.
Once your tooth is cleaned and your mouth is sanitized, the dental filling material is poured into the tooth’s cavity. After the material hardens, Dr. Crosby will mold the filling to fit inside the tooth naturally. Our team will then ensure that you have an even bite and make tiny adjustments to the dental filling to give you a comfortable and beautiful smile.
Are Fillings Permanent?
While creating a filling for a cavity is a permanent solution, dental fillings have a limited life span. Most will last for five to twelve years if given the proper care and treatment. However, replacing a filling that has become dislodged is quick and easy. Our team is always willing to replace or repair dental fillings that have become loose.
Dr. Crosby will be happy to discuss your dental filling options and help you decide which material is best for your unique needs to keep your smile healthy and bright. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.