EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DENTAL FILLINGS
Even though getting a dental filling at your dentist's office in Monaca, PA isn't something most people like getting, it's a treatment you'll probably have to get. You may think dental fillings are only used as a treatment for cavities, but there's actually several reasons your dentist may recommend a filling. Modern fillings can be used to repair worn down, chipped, or cracked enamel. No matter why you need a filling, our team at DentalWorks - Beaver Valley offers high-quality materials and options. Discover more about dental fillings, including what fillings are, why you might need a filling, your options when getting a filling (direct or indirect fillings plus different materials), and what to expect when your dentist in Monaca, PA performs a filling procedure.
WHAT ARE FILLINGS USED FOR?
There's several reasons you may need a dental filling. In your annual dental exam, your dentist will check your teeth to determine if you have a cavity or another concern that could be treated with a dental filling.
Small chips in the enamel could be repaired with a dental filling. This could be performed to improve the look of your smile or to restore the health of the tooth.
The most common reason most people in Monaca, PA need a filling is to deal with a dental cavity. Once the decayed area is removed, a filling will be applied to protect the tooth.
A crack in a tooth can sometimes be restored with a dental filling. A crack in the enamel should be sealed before an infection can develop inside the tooth.
- WORN ENAMEL
If you grind your teeth while you sleep, bite your fingernails, or use your teeth as a tool to open things, you may have worn enamel. A dental filling can help boost the strength and health of worn enamel.
In your annual dental exam, one of the chief things your dentist is checking for is cavities. They could use a manual tool, x-rays, a detecting dye, or a laser detection device to help them diagnose areas of weakened enamel and decay. If your dentist finds a cavity, chip, crack, or worn enamel during your exam, you may need a dental filling. They will review their diagnosis and then discuss the sort of filling they recommend.
CHOOSE YOUR FILLING TYPE
There are two main sorts of dental fillings — direct and indirect. A direct filling is normally made of composite resin and is placed directly onto the enamel, normally to deal with a small cavity. An indirect filling can be made of gold or porcelain and it will be made before it is placed. Also known as an inlay or onlay, indirect fillings are needed for larger cavities or a cracked tooth.
Indirect fillings made of porcelain are usually recommended for the front teeth. Porcelain fillings may be shaded to match your other teeth for a seamless result, but they are more fragile in comparison to other fillings materials.
- COMPOSITE RESIN
A modern material, composite resin may be shaded to be used as tooth-colored fillings. Composite resin can also be applied as a cosmetic treatment to fill in chipped teeth and hide stained enamel.
Inlays and onlays made of gold are better for the premolars and molars since they are one of the strongest materials. Gold inlays and onlays are the most expensive option, but they are more durable and tend to last longer than other types of fillings.
Amalgam fillings are made of a mix of metals like silver and mercury. These were a common treatment for cavities, but most dentists now prefer composite resin for fillings since amalgam doesn't bond as well to enamel.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU GET YOUR FILLING
As soon as your dental team has decided you need a filling and which material you should get; your appointment will be scheduled. A dental filling can normally be performed using only local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth. However, if you have dental fears or a strong gag reflex, you may require sedation dentistry. At DentalWorks - Beaver Valley, we offer different levels of sedation (for example, nitrous oxide gas or oral-conscious medication) to keep you calm and relaxed during your treatment. Once the tooth being treated is ready, your dental team can remove any areas of decay or damage. In some cases, your dentist will then employ an acid gel to etch your tooth for the filling. Next, your dentist will apply thin layers of composite resin or place your indirect filling. The dental filling will be hardened with a special light so it bonds with your tooth. Once the filling is set, your team will polish the filling so it feels smooth and natural.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR DENTAL FILLING
After your dental filling is in place and your tooth is restored, it's important to maintain your dental health. You should develop a home hygiene routine with twice daily brushing and flossing. You also need to use mouthwash throughout the day, especially after enjoying sugary or highly acidic foods and drinks. Along with your home care, you will need to go see your dentist in Monaca, PA at least twice per year for professional cleanings and exams. Depending on the type of filling you choose and where it is placed, your filling could last anywhere from 5 – 15 years if you take good care of it. Through your oral health exams, your dentist can check the wear of your filling and decide if it needs to be corrected.
FIND OUT IF YOU NEED A DENTAL FILLING
Though you may not want to get a dental filling, you have plenty of options if you do need one. Modern dental fillings can deal with a broad array of concerns from small cavities to teeth that are chipped, cracked, or worn. DentalWorks - Beaver Valley offers high-quality dental fillings to match your unique concerns. If you're interested in repairing your teeth with a filling or having your oral health assessed, contact our office in Monaca, PA to schedule a visit.