Fillings Give Your Tooth a Second Chance

No matter how vigilant you are about brushing and flossing, cavities can occur, particularly if it's difficult to remove plaque from hard-to-reach areas. When decay happens, a filling can help restore your tooth. Tracy C. Sullivan, DDS; Peter A. Grieser, DDS; and Kevin L. Yoder, DDS; your Port Orchard dentists, share some information about fillings.Teeth Fillings

How are teeth filled?

After your dentist finds a cavity on your X-rays, he or she uses a dental drill to remove the decayed area. Placing filling material in the tooth not only closes the opening in your tooth but seals the tooth, preventing bacteria from causing additional decay.

How do I know I need a filling?

If your cavity is large enough, your tooth will begin to ache or throb. You may also experience pain or sensitivity when you eat or drink cold or sweet foods and beverages. Pain can worsen when you bite down on the tooth. You probably won't notice any pain if your cavity is detected when it's small. Your yearly X-ray can reveal small areas of tooth decay, allowing your dentist to offer prompt treatment. Because large fillings tend to weaken teeth, treating tooth decay in its earliest stages can help keep your teeth strong and healthy.

What material are used to fill teeth?

Dentist use a variety of materials to fill teeth, including:

Amalgam fillings: Commonly called "silver" fillings because of their color, amalgam fillings actually contain silver, tin, mercury and copper. They hold up to wear and tear very well and are the least expensive type of filling.

Composite fillings: These tooth-colored plastic resin fillings are often used to restore front teeth, although they can be used on any tooth. Some dental plans don't cover composite fillings for all teeth.

Gold fillings: As you can imagine, gold fillings are the most expensive option. Gold is very tough, but some people don't like the look of these fillings.

Ionomer fillings: Acrylic acids and glass powders are used to create tooth-colored Ionomer fillings. These fillings are often used to treat decay on tooth roots.

Protect your oral health with regular dental visits. Call Tracy C. Sullivan, DDS; Peter A. Grieser, DDS; and Kevin L. Yoder, DDS; your Port Orchard dentists, at (360) 895-4321 to schedule an appointment today.

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