Did you know that almost every Canadian will need at least one dental filling in their lifetime? Despite how common they are, the idea of receiving one still fills many people with dread. If you are one of them, let us set your mind at ease. Our guide will demystify the dental filling process from start to finish so you can relax and get the treatment you need.
Why Do You Need a Dental Filling?
Dental fillings are used to treat cavities and prevent the infection in a tooth from getting worse. When a tooth starts to decay, the dental material inside it begins to disintegrate. This allows the infection to get closer and closer to the tooth’s nerve.
If the decay reaches this area, it can cause a life-threatening systemic infection. Dentists remove tooth decay by drilling away all of the infected tooth material. They then replace that material with a dental filling. When the process is done, your tooth will be free of decay, and you will be able to speak and chew just as you did before.
Things You Should Know About Dental Fillings
Drilling is needed to clear the damaged tooth material away and ensure that the tooth is free of disease. Many people are frightened by the thought of a drill operating inside their mouth, but the procedure is painless and is over quickly. Trust in your dentist’s expertise and relax while they do their job.
2. Local Anaesthesia
In many cases, your dentist will administer a shot of local anesthesia before starting to drill. This is another part of the process that many people find daunting, but again, it is painless and takes only seconds to do.
3. Prepping the Tooth
After all remaining traces of decay have been drilled away, your dentist will wash away any remaining filings and other debris with a handheld irrigation tool. If your cavity is very deep, they may also line the inside of your tooth with a preliminary layer of resin composite to protect your sensitive inner nerves.
4. Cost of Dental Fillings
Dental filling costs vary depending on the skill of your dentist, the location of their office, and the materials they use. Some materials, such as metal amalgam, are inexpensive but do not offer attractive aesthetics. Others, such as glass ionomer, cost more but offer beautiful and highly durable results.
5. Shaping the Tooth
Once the tooth is ready to be filled, your dentist will begin adding layers of filling material to the empty space. They will shape and polish the tooth during this process so that the end result looks natural, has no overhanging edges that could trap bacteria, and does not interfere with your bite.
6. How Long the Filling Lasts
Most dental fillings last 4 to 7 years. However, many last much longer than this. How long yours will remain intact depends on the materials you choose, the skill of your dentist, your diet, how well you take care of your teeth, and other factors.
Types of Dental Fillings
Composite fillings are also known as white dental fillings. They are made of resin composite and come in many different shades of white to better match your teeth. They are relatively inexpensive and are many dentists’ first choice for standard fillings.
Silver amalgam fillings are also known as grey fillings or metal fillings. They are made of a combination of different metals known to have antibacterial properties. They are the least expensive type of filling, but many dentists have stopped using them due to concerns regarding mercury in the metal.
Porcelain or ceramic fillings are some of the most beautiful cosmetic dental fillings available today. They can be made to match the exact colour and texture of your teeth, blending in seamlessly with your natural dentition. They are also stain-resistant. However, they are more expensive than most other options.
Glass Ionomer Fillings
Glass ionomer is a new type of filling material that releases a steady stream of fluoride inside your tooth. This prevents decay around the edges of the filling, protecting as much of your tooth structure as possible. However, the material is relatively fragile and expensive. Fillings made from glass ionomer must be replaced every few years and can be costly.
Visit Our Office for Quality Dental Fillings in Mississauga
If it has been a while since your last dental checkup, you may need a dental filling or two yourself. Trillium Smile Dentistry offers all types of dental filling services and provides a calm, welcoming atmosphere to help you relax during your treatment. Contact us today to book your appointment for a dental fillings consultation and get your teeth repaired by the experts.