Fillings are a restorative dental treatment used to aid in the function, shape, or integrity of a damaged tooth. Damage may be caused by any number of things including physical trauma, a highly acidic diet, or cavities due to tooth decay. Generally easy to place, fillings can repair the damage from either cavities or trauma to the tooth in a single office visit. Here at Wilson Dentistry our team of professionals offers several different filling treatments for your better oral health to extend the life of your teeth.
Who Needs a Tooth Filling?
Any patient who has had a cavity identified during a routine cleaning, chipped a tooth, or noticed other trauma during daily brushing or flossing would likely need a filling to repair the damage. If a patient complains of general tooth pain or experiences discomfort while chewing food this may also be indicative of needing a filling. Most people think of cavities when considering a filling and while they are the most frequent reason one is placed a filling may also be used to repair fractures or cracks in teeth as well.
Reasons for Dental Fillings
Fillings are necessary to repair damage caused by cavities or trauma. If left untreated, cavities and other tooth anomalies can lead to far more serious problems and expensive procedures.
An untreated cavity can expose nerves and affect the overall integrity of the tooth. Left unchecked it can even lead to an abscess, which is a serious and potentially life-threatening infection to both the gum and bone, ultimately leading to either an expensive root canal or the complete removal of the tooth. By filling the hole, it not only strengthens the tooth, it also keeps bacteria and plaque from building up.
How We Place a Tooth Filling
Placing a filling is a routine procedure and can be accomplished in just one office visit. Our staff will use a local anesthetic by injecting it into the gum to numb the surrounding tissue of the affected tooth. After ensuring the numbness is complete, our team will remove the rest of the decay at the site of the cavity to make sure the surface is clean and ready for the filling placement. Once it is clean of all damaged material, our staff will fill the cavity with the filling material.
There are two options when considering filling material. The least expensive material is amalgam which is a mixture of several different kinds of metals. This is the traditional metallic looking filling. While it does last considerably longer and is easier to place on the tooth, it does not have the aesthetic appeal of the second option. Composite resin is more expensive and more difficult to place on the damaged tooth, however, it does appear natural, matching the color of the surrounding teeth.
How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?
With proper oral hygiene and tooth care, including brushing and flossing twice daily, and regular routine cleanings and oral exams, fillings can last up to fifteen years. If neglected however, the length of time is significantly lower which may result in the filling needing to be replaced or more intrusive procedures needing to be done.
Tooth fillings can easily be placed by our Katy dental team of professionals at Wilson Dentistry. Call us today at (346) 340-5440 or pay us a visit during our office hours.