Cavities are quite common, and therefore, so are fillings for those cavities. How much do you really know about the material your dentist uses to fill that hole and why it’s important?
Why We Need Dental Fillings
When we have a damaged tooth, it should be fixed if we want to keep it. Sometimes these damaged teeth are extracted, sometimes they require a crown or a root canal, and sometimes they just need to be filled. Cracked teeth and decayed teeth can be treated with a filling rather than an extreme treatment.
The purposes of dental fillings include the following:
- Repair broken and cracked teeth and those that have been worn down from use or traumatized by improper use
- Restore proper chewing function
- Enhance the esthetic appearance of teeth
- Enable you to eat normally and without discomfort
Process For Filling A Tooth
First Manhattan Dental Arts will take X-rays to see how much damage the decay has caused. After numbing the area with an anesthetic, we will remove all the decay usually with a drill, although other types of instruments can be used.
Once all the decay is gone, the area will be sanitized to remove all bacteria. Then the filling is added to the hole and checked for proper bite.
Multiple Materials Used As Fillings
There are pros and cons concerning what kind of filling material is used.
Some fillings are subtle and hardly noticeable like ceramic and porcelain, although they can be expensive. Composite fillings made with resin, glass, and quartz are also durable and tooth colored. These are good choices for a tooth located near the front of the mouth because they are less noticeable.
Durable materials like amalgam or silver are cheaper, durable, but are quite obvious.
Glass fillings use acrylic and glass and can actually release fluoride for extra protection, but are not very durable.
Gold fillings are most expensive.
Fillings Can Prevent Infection
When you are having a root canal procedure done over several visits, a temporary filling is used to give the tooth and gums an opportunity to heal. This temporary filling helps the nerves to settle down and also prevents infection during the interim and before the permanent filling is placed.
Cost Of Fillings Vary
The cost of a filling depends on the material being used, the amount of work needed, and your particular dental insurance plan. Costs are less with amalgam and metal than with gold or natural tooth-colored materials.
Contact Manhattan Dental Arts at (212) 247-2330 for an appointment at our office in Manhattan’s upper west side, NYC if you are having any tooth sensitivity or pain.