Dental fillings in Hialeah are a godsend to patients looking for ways to fix their teeth from cavities. Statistics show that while an average American has around three dental fillings, about 25% have 11 fillings. If you have a cavity that needs to be filled, be glad to know that fillings involve a straightforward procedure you can complete in just one visit to the dentist’s office.
Dentists offer different types of fillings to treat tooth decay and cavities. It’s worth noting that each option varies in strength, color, and specific care needs. For this reason, discussing your options with your dental care provider before getting them is best.
Dentists offer different types of fillings to treat cavities. It’s worth noting that each option varies in strength, color, and specific care needs. For this reason, it’s best to discuss your options with your dental care provider before getting them.
Although amalgam or silver-colored fillings have been used for over a hundred years, many dentists still use them to fix cavities in the molars where the most chewing occurs. Moreover, these fillings are a combination of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and other metals.
Patients looking for a more affordable option choose to repair and restore their teeth with amalgam fillings. However, since these fillings are metallic in appearance, they don’t match the color of teeth. For this reason, they can be noticeable whenever you smile or laugh.
Some people don’t mind paying more for metal fillings that make them stand out. One of the best things about metal fillings is that they can last up to 15 years. While the most popular choices include gold and silver fillings, more patients prefer gold to silver.
Since composite fillings are designed to match the color of a patient’s existing teeth, they’re perfect for those who want the most natural finish. Moreover, dental composite fillings are typically made of glass or quartz resin.
While these fillings are best used for small to medium-sized cavities, they’re not ideal for tooth areas that sustain heavy use. These areas include the chewing surfaces of molars or back teeth. However, since composite fillings blend well with the mouth, dentists use them to treat chipped or cracked front teeth. Although these fillings are more aesthetically pleasing than metal and amalgam fillings, they can only last up to 10 years in healthy patients.
Similar to composite fillings, ceramic fillings are made of tooth-colored porcelain. However, unlike composite fillings that may stain over time, ceramic fillings are resistant to staining. Additionally, they can cost as much as gold fillings.
Glass ionomer fillings are made of acrylic and glass. They're usually used to create cavity fillings that release fluoride to protect natural teeth. However, these fillings are less durable than other options. For this reason, you may have to replace them in five years.
The dentist applies a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth that gets the filling. Next, they use an instrument such as a drill, laser, or air abrasion instrument to remove decayed parts of the tooth and create a space for the filling. The dentist selects the instrument they use based on their training, comfort level, and investment. They also consider the location and the extent of the decay.
Once they eliminate the decayed areas, the dentist cleans the cavity of bacteria and debris to prepare the space for the filling. They may put in a liner made of special materials such as composite resin and glass ionomer to ensure nerve protection if the decayed portion is near the root.
The dentist fills the cavity with the filling before shining a curing light on the tooth. The blue curing light hardens the filling and sets it in place. Once it hardens, the dentist adds layers of filling until the treated tooth fits with its adjacent teeth. Finally, the dentist finishes off the filling by smoothing and polishing it to ensure your comfort when biting down or chewing.
While dental fillings are built to help you prevent cavities, they’re not invincible. You’ll still have to clean them to ensure protection from further decay. For this reason, it’s best to brush at least twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, floss at least once, and include an antiseptic mouthwash in your oral hygiene routine.
You may experience minor tooth sensitivity or pain immediately after receiving your fillings. Consider asking your dentist for recommendations in choosing the best oral hygiene products for sensitive teeth.
You’ll want to do your best to limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks. The naturally-occurring bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar that clings to the surface of your teeth. While at it, they create acid as a byproduct. The acid breaks down the tooth enamel until decay develops over time. Even after receiving tooth fillings, you’ll still want to watch what you eat to avoid more cavities.
Holding items in your mouth or chewing on objects such as straws, pens, and fingernails will put unnecessary stress on your dental fillings until they crack and fall out. Likewise, using your teeth to open and cut things is never a good idea. Besides running the risk of damaging your dental fillings, you'll also increase your chances of causing injury to yourself. The next time you need to open a bag of chips or a bottle, use a pair of scissors and a bottle opener.
It’s best to schedule visits to the dentist every six months. During these appointments, your dentist will look at your dental fillings to check for signs of damage and determine the need to replace them, if necessary.
At Best Dentistry Miami, we offer a wide range of high-quality dental services to meet your smile goals. If you’re ready to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted, don’t hesitate to contact us today to make an appointment.