If cavities or tooth decay have compromised the integrity of one or more of your teeth, your dentist might suggest that you have them filled to retain their strength. Healthy Smiles Dental Care offers several types of fillings that will allow you to chew and smile with comfort and confidence again. To explore filling options, book an appointment online or over the phone at one of their locations in Chelsea, Flint, Lansing, Barton City (Jewell Lake Dental), and Muskegon, Michigan.
Dental fillings are materials that are used to reinforce the strength and shape of a tooth after a cavity or other damage. They’re available in several materials, some of which are tooth colored so others won’t be able to see them when you open your mouth.
Beyond simply restoring your tooth’s strength and appearance, fillings prevent infection to exposed spaces in your teeth. Bacteria can penetrate cracks and holes in your teeth, so it’s important to fill them.
There are several types of dental fillings, and each has benefits and drawbacks that you and your dentist will need to consider when choosing your material.
Gold fillings last for a long time, typically for 20 years or more. However, they are the most expensive option.
Amalgam, or silver fillings, are long-lasting and strong and require less visits to your dentist for maintenance than gold. Many patients turn down silver fillings on visible teeth since they’re dark-colored and therefore noticeable.
Many patients prefer composite fillings, which are made of synthetic resins because they’re tooth colored and affordable. However, they do not last as long as other types, and they are easily stained by coffee, wine, and tobacco.
Like composite fillings, porcelain fillings are matched to your natural tooth color. They are stronger than composite fillings and stain resistant, too, though they can be more expensive.
There are several steps to getting a dental filling. Depending on the material you select, you may need to have an appointment prior to having your teeth filled in order for your dentist to remove decay and take a mold of the shape of your cavity. If you select composite fillings, the liquid material will be poured directly into the cavity, and you won’t need them to be custom fit at a prior appointment.
At your appointment, your dentist will begin by giving the area a local anesthetic. Before inserting the filling, your dentist will apply sticky resin and harden it using a bright light. Then the filling will be inserted into the space, and your tooth will be polished.
If you’ve chipped a tooth or have a sensitive cavity, a filling can relieve your pain and prevent further damage. Call or schedule an appointment online at Healthy Smiles Dental Care to explore your options for fillings.