What’s the Purpose of Dental Fillings?

What’s the Purpose of Dental Fillings?

May 01, 2021

The primary purpose of teeth fillings is to repair cavities. When you have mild to moderate dental cavities that affect the surface of the teeth, the dentist will remove the damaged part and fix the dental fillings. These fixtures will restore the function and appearance of the teeth.

The dentist can also recommend dental fillings in Billerica, MA when your teeth are damaged due to bruxism or teeth grinding.

Teeth fillings are dental restorations used to restore the function and integrity of the teeth. These fixtures are available in different materials and they differ when it comes to durability and cost.

Are the Fillings Effective?

The effectiveness of the teeth fillings will depend on three things:

  • The type of fillings you choose
  • How they are fixed
  • And, how you take care of them

1. The Types of Dental Fillings

Teeth fillings are available in different materials. A dentist near you will take you through the different types and their pros and cons.

  • Amalgam fillings

These fillings have been used for decades to restore the teeth and improve function. They are made of mercury mixed with other metals like copper, tin, and silver. These filings are durable and effective in shielding the teeth, but they are a few controversies surrounding them. The mercury content in these fillings is believed to cause toxicity in the body. That is probably the reason why most dental professionals are turning to other non-mercury fillings.

However, the American Dental Association has reported that the fillings are safe to use.

  • Metal fillings

These come in gold or metal alloys. They are durable but more expensive than most of the other fillings. The fillings also have a bold color and as such, they are mostly fixed on the back teeth.

  • Porcelain fillings

These restorations are tooth-colored but are as expensive as the gold ones. The porcelain fillings are durable and can last for a couple of years if taken care of properly.

  • Composite fillings

These fillings are made of a mixture of ceramic and plastic compounds. They also mimic the teeth but are not as durable as the porcelain fillings. Furthermore, the fillings are prone to discoloration and cracking.

  • Glass ionomer fillings

These dental fillings are made of a combination of materials, but their selling point is that they release fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens the enamel making it less prone to decay. On the downside, the fillings are not durable and will not last for long.

2. How Are the Fillings Fixed?

The dental fillings procedure will last for about an hour, which gives the dentist time to do comprehensive exams and assessments. Before the procedure begins, the tooth filling dentist will numb the gums to ease discomfort.

Next, our dentist near you, will drill the teeth to remove the decay using an air abrasion instrument, drill, or laser depending on the location or extent of the decay.

The dentist will test the area to check if the decay is removed. He will then clean the area and prepare it for a filling.

Extra steps are required when fixing the composite fillings. The dentist will apply the composite material in layers and harden each layer with laser light. The fillings are then shaped to the desired shape and the excess material removed.

3. How Can You Take Care of the Fillings?

What you do after the fillings are fixed will determine how long they will last. After the procedure, avoid chewing sticky or hard foods until the fillings have been set or for two weeks. You may experience tooth sensitivity after the fillings are fixed, so avoid taking hot and cold beverages.

If you habitually grinding your teeth, wearing a mouthguard can help protect the fillings and the rest of the teeth. Finally, maintain your standard oral hygiene practices.

It is important to visit the dentist regularly to examine the fillings for any cracks or signs of wearing down. If they are severely worn down, the dentist may replace them.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit One Dental Care for more information about dental fillings, how they are fixed and which type is suitable for you. Call us now to book an appointment with our dentist near you. We also cater to patients residing in Patricia Road, Albion Road, Pinehurst, Sylvan Road, Valerie Avenue, Webster Lane, Glad Valley Drive, and nearby areas.