What You Should Know About Getting a Filling

Most people need a filling at some point in their life. Fillings are used to restore your tooth after it’s damaged by decay or gets damaged. A filling restores both the normal shape and function to your tooth in a single office visit. Here’s what you can expect when you need a filling from a dentist in Naperville, IL.

What Is a Filling Exactly?
When your dentist discovers a cavity, the decayed material will be removed from your tooth and your tooth will be cleaned out. The cleaned-out cavity will then be filled with one of several types of material. This closes off the opening and prevents bacteria from entering your tooth and causing further decay.

There are several types of materials that can be used for fillings:

  • Amalgam or silver fillings, which are the most affordable and made from a metal alloy. Amalgam fillings are not recommended for visible areas in the front of your mouth because they are noticeable but they are very resistant to wear.
  • Gold fillings are the most expensive option but they last the longest. A gold filling won’t irritate your gums and can last up to 20 years or longer but this type of filling needs to be made in a lab, not at the dentist’s office.

When Is a Filling Not Enough?

  • Composite resin fillings are the most popular. This type of filling is matched to the color of your tooth to create a very natural appearance. It’s made by mixing the ingredients in-office and applying them directly to the cavity where they are hardened. Composite fillings only last 3-10 years and can be stained.

A filling is a very basic dentistry service but it’s not enough if a dental fracture or decay has damaged a large amount of the tooth or the damage is located at the edge of the tooth. In these cases, a crown will be recommended.

Do Fillings Need to Be Replaced?
Dental fillings do eventually wear out. Most will last for 5-10 years or even longer, although your fillings may fail prematurely if you grind your teeth. You may notice your filling needs to be replaced if you see worn or cracked areas. Always see your dentist right away if you notice damage to the filling as continuing to chew with the damaged filling can actually damage your tooth.

Do you suspect you have a cavity? Hyline Dental offers compassionate dental care with a range of filling options to fit your budget. Contact your local dentist in Naperville today to schedule an appointment.

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