Dental Fillings in Doylestown
A dental filling is a procedure performed by a dentist that involves the removal of decayed material from a patient’s tooth. The now-empty space, once occupied by a cavity, is then filled in with a material such as gold, silver, mixed metals, plastic or porcelain.
What Do Dental Fillings Do?
By filling in the now-emptied cavity in the tooth, dental fillings prevent harmful bacteria from entering the hollowed-out space, thereby preventing tooth infections.
Who Needs Dental Fillings, and How Do I Know If I Need One?
A qualified dentist will be able to identify whether or not you have a cavity that needs a filling. First, the dentist will examine the tooth with a small mirror. If he/she sees any abnormalities, they will then inspect the tooth using special instruments, and possibly perform an X-ray. The dentist will then judge if the tooth suffers from decay to the extent that he/she must do a tooth extraction. If not, the dentist will drill out the decay and fill in the area with filling material.
A dentist may identify tooth decay during a routine dental cleaning. However, a toothache or increased sensitivity in a concentrated area can be an indicator that you may have a cavity. If you are experiencing any tooth pain at all, don’t wait too long to make an appointment! American Dental Care offices provide service to the Chalfont, Doylestown, and New Britain areas.
How Exactly Is A Dental Filling Done, and Does It Hurt?
Dental fillings are nearly pain-free. Before the procedure, the dentist will rub a numbing gel onto the gums surrounding the affected tooth. The dentist will then use a dental handpiece or laser to start removing the damaged or decayed portion of the tooth. There is now a wide open space in the tooth that the dentist will cleanse with an acid gel to remove any remaining debris or bacteria. The process of actually removing the decayed portion of the tooth is entirely painless, as is the process of injecting the filling. The whole procedure takes about 15-20 minutes.
Some patients may have a dull ache from the injection of the procedure. This pain almost never lasts long and should wear off entirely by the following day. Further, some patients may experience sensitivity in the affected tooth for up to a week following the procedure, especially while eating and drinking, as the tooth gets used to the filling. This is completely normal and is not a cause for alarm.
What Kind Of Filling Material Should I Choose?
There are advantages and disadvantages to each of the different possible materials used in a dental filling.
- Composite/Plastic Fillings: Fillings made from composite resins have the advantage of being of the same color as your teeth, so it blends in naturally without being easily noticed. However, they tend to get stained easily if you’re a coffee drinker and are not ideal for large fillings, as they tend to chip over time. They also do not last as long as other materials, and usually must be replaced after 5-8 years.
- Amalgam/Silver Fillings: Dental fillings made from silver, or from an alloy of silver, tin, mercury, and copper are more resistant to wear and tear than plastic fillings, usually lasting 10-15 years on average. They are also cost-efficient. However, they do not blend as well as the plastic fillings and are therefore not ideal for fillers in the front teeth.
- Gold Fillings: Gold fillings tend to last the longest, sometimes more than 20 years, and blend in better than amalgam/silver fillings. On the downside, they are more expensive than the other filling options.
- Porcelain Fillings: Dental fillings made from porcelain are often called in-lays, and are made-to-order before they are bonded to the tooth. They blend in with the teeth just like plastic fillings do, but have the durability and stain resistance of gold. The disadvantage is they are usually around the same price as gold fillings.
Where Can I Get a Check-Up To See If I Need A Filling?
American Dental Care has branches serving the Doylestown, Chalfont, and New Britain areas. For questions about fillings, or to schedule a routine cleaning, call us to make an appointment at 215-348-4041. We are on call 24/7 for emergency dental services as well!