what are cavities?
Cavities are holes that form in the teeth as a result of enamel erosion. When you fail to practice good oral hygiene, the bacteria in your mouth feed off of left-behind sugars and convert them into acids.
These acids attack your enamel and over time, lead to holes that are known as cavities, which are a sign of early-stage tooth decay. If left untreated, this decay will penetrate through the deeper layers of the tooth which will lead to an infection.
Dental fillings are minimally invasive treatments for this early-stage tooth decay that will prevent the need for more costly and time-consuming restorative treatment.
First, we remove decay from the tooth. Then, the structure of the tooth is rebuilt with a composite filling that is the same shade as your natural tooth. Contact your dentist in Alexandria today to schedule a consultation.
Did you know…
Dental fillings can prevent the need for root canal treatment by preventing infection.
What to expect when getting a dental filling in Alexandria
Dr. Haack will assess the extent of decay in your tooth through an oral exam & x-rays.
Under local anesthetic, we will drill away the remaining decay from your tooth.
To prepare your tooth for the filling, we will roughen your tooth and apply an acidic etching solution. This helps the adhesive stick to the tooth.
Layers of composite resin are applied to your tooth.
After each layer of composite resin is applied, it is cured with UV light to harden. The resin is then shaped to appear as natural as possible and the tooth is polished.
Types of Dental Fillings
A composite filling is a type of tooth-colored filling made of a plastic resin material. Composite resin is also used in dental bonding to repair damaged teeth or cover up aesthetic imperfections.A shade guide is used to match the shade of the resin to your natural teeth, which makes them much more aesthetically pleasing than silver fillings. Composite fillings are also biocompatible and mercury-free, which makes them safer and healthier. Since they are biocompatible, we don’t need to drill away as much of your natural enamel and the fillings harden immediately rather than needing to wait for 24 hours. Composite fillings can be placed anywhere in the mouth, but they are most desired in the front teeth because they restore the structure of the tooth as well as the smile.
Did you know…
Up to 80% of the cost of dental fillings is typically covered by dental insurance.
Have questions about Dental Fillings? Find answers here.
Does it hurt to get a filling?
No, it does not hurt to get a filling because the administration of a local anesthetic ensures that you can’t feel any pain from dental tools that are used on your tooth.
Your mouth will be completely numb and you will only feel the sensation of movement and pressure, but no pain. If you have dental anxiety, we can offer you additional dental sedation to help you relax and melt away stress and anxiety.
How long do Dental fillings last?
Composite fillings have an average lifespan of 5 to 7 years but with proper care can last for up to 10 years.
Composite fillings are not as durable as amalgam fillings because they are made out of plastic and acrylic materials rather than metal so the strength and durability are not as long-lasting, especially in the rear molars.
However, given all of the other advantages of composite fillings, these have become the emerging preferred filling material across the country.
We recommend that you avoid chewing hard, crunchy, and sticky foods and wear a mouthguard if you grind your teeth. Don’t use your teeth to open packages or chew on hard objects. This will ensure your fillings last for a long time.
Did you know…
Other filling materials include gold alloy and ceramic.