Dental Fillings

A dental filling is a quick, simple method of returning a decayed or damaged tooth to full health and function. Dental fillings can be made of many different materials. Porcelain, gold, amalgam (mercury, copper, tin, and silver), and composite (a tooth-colored resin) are all available. Your dentist at Smile Scarsdale will work with you to pick what works best for your situation after a thorough assessment of the remaining strength of the affected tooth.

During the filling process, your dentist will use a drill to remove all infected and weakened tooth material, then examine the cavity to make sure it can accommodate a filling. Even if a cavity isn’t causing pain, it still must be filled to keep bacteria out. If bacteria get inside the pulp chamber and start an infection, a root canal is the only way to save the tooth. Having even painless small cracks and cavities filled before deep pulp infections get underway is the way to go.

Choosing a filling material depends on a thorough assessment of your tooth’s condition. Your dentist at Smile Scarsdale will take x-rays of your teeth and jaws, as well as perform a thorough visual exam of the affected area. Let your dentist know about any metal allergies if you have them.

Common filling materials include:

  • Amalgam (silver) fillings. Amalgam fillings are durable and less expensive than gold. Due to being darkly colored, silver filings are good choices for the back teeth.
  • Gold fillings. Gold fillings are long-lasting, durable, and biofriendly. Gold fillings are the most expensive choice but can last for over 20 years. Gold fillings take two visits for fitting.
  • Composite resins. Composite resins can be tinted to match your own tooth color. They can last for up to 10 years but are not the best choice for large cavities.

Aftercare for Dental Fillings

Be gentle with your newly filled tooth. For 24 to 36 hours, avoid all hard foods. Don’t chew on hard candy or ice and avoid extremely hot or extremely cold foods to prevent thermal shock. Fillings need a day or so to bond completely into the tooth’s structure. Brush your teeth gently with toothpaste for sensitive teeth for a couple of days and take your choice of over-the-counter pain reliever as necessary.

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