Beverly Hills, CA
Dental fillings are the most common and conservative type of restorative procedure. Fillings are used to repair cracked, chipped, or fractured teeth when the damage is not extensive. Depending on the state of your tooth and your preferences, there are several types of filling materials you can use to repair your tooth.
How Do You Know You Need a Filling?
Contrary to popular belief, a developing cavity often does not hurt. This means it cannot alert you to the fact that not all is right with your tooth. What’s worse is that a simple scan of your teeth in the bathroom mirror cannot show you whether your teeth are developing a cavity. That’s because a lot of the time, cavities can develop behind and between your teeth, in places that you cannot see easily. Sometimes, a tooth may not appear too bad from above but may have deep decay in the middle.
Only when the damage becomes extensive and spreads to your dental pulp, do most people experience pain. However, at that time, a filling alone is not enough to fix the damage, and you may need to resort to more invasive procedures like root canal therapy.
With the use of special instruments, only a dentist can detect whether you have a cavity that requires filling. Therefore, make sure you do not miss your scheduled regular checkup appointments at Sabeti Cosmetic Dentistry.
What to Expect During a Filling?
To treat a cavity, Dr. Shohreh Sabeti will first numb the area around the tooth with local anesthesia. They will then remove all the decay out of your tooth and prepare the surface to receive the filling.
If the decay is too near the root, we will first place a liner made of composite resin, glass ionomer, or other materials to protect the nerve. The filling material is then applied in layers to the cavity until the breakage is completely sealed, and the tooth is restored to its normal shape.
Types of Filling Material
There are several types of filling material which can be used to repair your cavity, depending on the extent of the damage and your body’s reaction to the material.
Below are the most commonly used ones:
||Gold Fillings: Gold fillings are made-to-fit in dental labs, and are then cemented into place. Gold is the strongest type of filling material and is hypoallergenic, which means it can be tolerated well by your gums. With proper care, a gold filling can last you for over 20 years.
||Amalgam Fillings: Amalgam fillings are made of an alloy of silver and are quite inexpensive. They are also very strong and can last you several years. However, because of their dark color, they are usually used to fix molars and premolars instead of your front teeth.
||Composite Resin: Composite resin fillings are off-white, and are usually used to repair teeth which exert low pressure, like your incisors. However, these fillings are more prone to wear and tear over time as compared to other types of fillings. They can also become stained from continued use of red wine, coffee, and tobacco, as well as by consuming certain foods like blueberries. Composite resin fillings can last you for three to seven years.
||Porcelain Fillings: Porcelain fillings are also made-to-fit in a dental lab and then bonded to your tooth. They are the most natural-looking type of filling and are much more stain-resistant than composite resin fillings. These fillings can last for over 10 years with proper care.
If you suspect you have a small cavity, do not wait for it to get bigger. Schedule an appointment with us by calling at (310) 707-1577 today. Getting a cavity filled in its early stages can prevent costly procedures in the future.