A tooth filling is a procedure that restores a damaged tooth. A tooth can be damaged by decay which causes a cavity, or by physical forces that cause a tooth to chip. Specialized materials are used to fill these cavities or restore shape to a tooth that has been chipped.
How do I know I may need this?
A visible hole in a tooth
Dark staining (possible sign of decay underneath)
Previous filling came out
If food constantly gets stuck between the same teeth(possible presence of cavity)
Tooth sensitivity (hot, cold, pressure, sweets)
What to expect?
The doctor will first clean out the area of the cavity to ensure all decay has been removed. Once this is done, a filling will be placed to fill the area of the cavity and sealed to help keep decay out. The filling will then be shaped and smoothed so it looks and feels like part of the tooth.
Types of fillings
- Composite (white fillings): Composite fillings come in different color shades and can be matched closely to your natural teeth color. Composites are great for average fillings, but may lack ideal strength for larger fillings.
- Amalgam (silver fillings): Amalgam fillings are very common since dentists have been using these before composite materials were developed. They are silver in color, but what they lack in aesthetics, they make up for in strength and resistance to physical wear.
After a filling procedure is done, you should not eat anything hard or sticky for the first 24 hours to ensure its setting. After this wait time you can go back to a normal diet. Care for your tooth/teeth that have fillings normally and it should last you several years.