What is a filling?

Fillings are materials placed in or on a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, which most commonly results from cavities (caries, or tooth decay). Fillings can also be used for teeth that developed abnormally or have become cracked or chipped. There are different filling materials; our office usually uses tooth-colored composite material unless otherwise indicated. Common places to need fillings are between tightly-touching back teeth, and in the grooves on the biting surfaces of back teeth.

Filling a cavity usually consists of first taking an x-ray to see how deep the cavity is. If it appears to be deeper, we then place local anesthetic around the tooth to make the experience more comfortable. Finally, we clean out any decay and bond the filling material to the tooth to restore it.

Will the filling match my tooth?

We have different shades of filling material to ensure that the fillings look as lifelike as possible. Depending on the size or location of a filling, there may be more aesthetic options available. If we think your tooth would be better off with a different type of filling, we’ll let you know.

Can all teeth with cavities be fixed with fillings?

Some teeth have very large cavities or cavities in locations that make placing a filling difficult or impossible. If the tooth has a cavity that appears to get close to the nerve of the tooth, or if the tooth has been very painful, more extensive treatment may be necessary. The next step up from a large filling is usually a crown.

How long does a filling last?

When properly maintained, fillings can last for many years. It is possible for fillings to leak if they aren’t kept clean, and fillings that have been in the mouth for several years should be checked regularly. Old fillings, particularly silver ones, can crack or leak over time and may need replacing. The longevity of a filling depends on its location and the patient’s bite, diet, and oral hygiene.

Contact us today for more information on fillings and fixing broken teeth or cavities: 318-869-2535.

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