For individuals suffering from cavities or tooth decay, they will have to get a filling to fill the empty space once the decay is removed. There are different types of fillings used for teeth in different areas of the mouth. Learning the process of how fillings are placed, and the different types of fillings used will help individuals discuss the best treatment options with their dentists.
The first thing dentists do before filling a tooth is numb the teeth, gums, tongue, and skin surrounding the area. Dentists insert a liquid substance, which has a similar texture to jelly, throughout the area to begin the numbing process. Shortly after, they inject an aesthetic to complete the process. Sometimes dentists give patients nitrous gas, also known as laughing gas, to help decrease the pain and make patients relax. Next, some dentists may use a small rubber dam to isolate the decayed tooth and prevent liquid and tooth chips from falling into the mouth and throat. Lastly, dentists will then drill out all of the decay and insert filling into the empty area.
There are five types of dental fillings that are used for filling teeth. The easiest material used is called amalgam since it is the fastest and cheapest choice. Amalgam is a compilation of mercury, silver, tin, copper and other materials. This filling is long lasting and has been used by dentists for over 150 years. Dentists use this filling for the chewing teeth that are located in the back of the mouth.
The second type of filling often used are composite resin fillings. Unlike amalgam, these are tooth-colored which makes them appear more natural. However, they are not as hard-wearing as amalgam fillings. Because they’re more of a weaker filling, they’re used on baby teeth.
The third type of filling is glass ionomer, which are also tooth-colored fillings. Dentists use these for small cavities, or cavities located between the teeth. Fortunately, these fillings dispense small amounts of fluoride, which may be beneficial to those who are prone to getting cavities.
Gold fillings are expensive and difficult for dentists to perform with, which could make the procedure last longer. However, gold fillings are the most hard-wearing and can last for years. Gold fillings don’t tarnish over time and they have more strength than other fillings. Gold fillings are also created in a laboratory after an impression is made of the cavity and sent off for preparation of the inlay. As the filling is being prepared, a temporary filling will be used until the gold filling is ready.
At McBride Dental, our goal is to help all of our patients either prevent cavities or treat them. To do so, we offer preventative care services to help those who are not suffering from cavities prevent that issue from arising. For those who are, we offer dental fillings to rectify the issue and prevent cavities from further damaging the teeth. If you are in the San Diego area and are interested in our services, contact our office today to schedule an appointment at 760-471-1003.