Dental Fillings: Commonly Asked Questions

Dental Fillings: Commonly Asked Questions

Feb 13, 2023

Despite the numerous innovations in dentistry, dental decay remains a common threat to the dental health of millions of adults and children. In the U.S., most adults have had at least one cavity in their lifetime. A dental filling is a common and reliable solution to save your tooth and restore its structure when you have a cavity.

If you’re considering a dental filling or are scheduled for a dental filling procedure, below are answers to seven commonly asked questions about dental fillings.

  • What does filling a tooth involve?

Filling a tooth is relatively quick and straightforward. The dentist will begin by numbing the tooth to make the procedure as pain-free as possible. Next, the dentist will use a drill to drill through the tooth and remove all the decay or damaged parts. The tooth is then rinsed and disinfected thoroughly. The dentist will use a filling material to fill the holes or spaces left after removing the damaged parts. The dentist will then polish the tooth for a smooth and natural appearance.

  • Which filling materials are the best?

Dental filling materials include silver amalgam, porcelain, gold, composite resin, and glass ionomer. Which material you should get will depend on factors like the extent of damage, the location of the damaged tooth, your budget, your preferences, and the dentist’s recommendations.

Tooth-colored materials like composite and porcelain are perfect for front-tooth restorations since you can customize them to look like your natural teeth. Silver and gold fillings are more noticeable, therefore, may not be as appealing for a front-tooth restoration. However, they are ideal for back-tooth restorations due to their strength and durability. Our dentist will help you decide the best choice for your situation. Visit our dental office near you for tooth-colored fillings in Andover, MA.

  • When is a filling necessary?

A cavity can be stopped and reversed when caught before it breaks through the tooth’s enamel. However, if the damage has passed the enamel, tooth filling is essential to remove the decay and save the tooth. Signs you may need a dental filling include the following:

  • Sensitivity to heat, cold, or sugar
  • Pain when chewing or biting down
  • Food sticking at certain spots in the mouth
  • A rough, chipped, fractured, or broken tooth
  • Persistent tooth pain
  • Dark spots on the teeth
  • A damaged or lost filling

See our dentist if you have any of these symptoms. The sooner you seek treatment, the better chances of saving the tooth. Regular dental checkups can help catch cavities early and prevent further tooth damage.

  • Are dental fillings safe?

FDA-approved dental filling materials are safe. Our dentist will discuss any concerns you may have before the procedure and advise you accordingly.

  • Can dental fillings get damaged?

While strong and long-lasting, dental fillings can get damaged, wear down, or fall out with time. While it rarely results in an emergency, it can cause minor pain or sensitivity and expose your tooth to new infections and fractures. Notify your dentist if your filling feels loose, breaks, falls out, or gets damaged. The filling should be replaced or repaired as soon as possible.

  • How long do fillings last?

With proper dental care and habits, dental fillings can last a long time. Amalgam, gold, and ceramic fillings often last 10 – 15 years. Composite fillings last 5 – 7 years, while glass ionomer typically lasts less than five years. The lifespan of your filling can also depend on the location of the treated tooth and your oral habits. The dentist will check the condition of your fillings during routine checkups and, if necessary, replace them.

  • How can I care for dental fillings?

Caring for dental fillings is relatively easy. As long as you practice consistent and good oral hygiene and habits. These can include:

  • Brush and floss daily.
  • Use fluoride-based toothpaste or tap water.
  • Have regular fluoride treatments.
  • Schedule routine dental cleanings and cleanings.
  • Avoid damaging habits like using teeth to open packages and nail-biting.
  • Avoid hard and highly pigmented food items.
    • Avoid tobacco products.
  • Notify your dentist if your filling doesn’t feel right.

Schedule an Appointment Today

For more information about dental fillings in Andover, MA, contact Andover Cosmetic Dental Group.

Our dentists in Andover, MA also welcome patients from the below nearby areas:

  • North Andover
  • Lawrence
  • Methuen
  • Tewksbury
  • North Reading
  • Middleton
  • Wilmington
  • Dracut
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