Tooth decay is a very common dental problem that we see at Medhat Dental Excellence. Thankfully, it is also easily resolved through the use of fillings, a common form of restorative dentistry. Fillings come in a variety of materials. They fill in the gap created by decayed tooth matter. This helps to restore the full function and appearance of the affected tooth.
If tooth decay is left untreated, it can seep deep into the tooth, jaw, and surrounding soft tissue. It can allow bacteria to get into the system and cause serious health problems. Fillings also aid in providing a protective barrier between harmful bacteria and inner sections of the tooth.
Types of Filling Materials
Amalgam and composite fillings are currently the most popularly used materials. Amalgam is made up of several metallic elements and therefore has a noticeable silver or grey appearance. It is mostly used for back chewing teeth. It is preferred for its good durability, strength, and affordability. Composite fillings are made up of glass and quartz that can be configured to match the natural tooth color. This makes it popular for use with front-facing teeth.
Metals such as gold and silver are also used as fillings. Although more noticeable and expensive, they offer long durability. Ceramic fillings can be just as natural looking as composite but tend to be more expensive. They are however stain-resistant and can be made to very thin specifications. This later quality makes them more commonly used for inlays and onlays.
How Fillings Are Done
Dr. Ramin A. Medhat will first need to perform an exam to find out if you are in need of a filling. If you have been experiencing any symptoms, such as tooth sensitivity or pain, it is advisable to inform our dentist before the exam and specify the location. The entire process should take about an hour.
We normally make use of a small mirror and light to examine the surfaces of your teeth. If there are any areas of concern our dentist will undertake a closer exam with special instruments and may carry out an x-ray to get a better view of what is happening beneath the surface and the extent of the tooth decay.
Once the problem area has been identified, we will discuss the options of filling materials that we have on hand. Once you have made your choice, we can then move on to the procedure itself. Our dentist will administer a local anesthetic that should numb the area and make you more comfortable.
We will then use a drill to access the area and remove the decayed material. Once done we will then irrigate the cavity with a special solution that should eliminate any lingering bacteria. We then fill the cavity with the selected material. Composite needs to be built up in layers that are each cured or hardened with a special light. Once the filling is completed, our dentist will then finish off the procedure with a trim of any excess material and a final polish to match it to neighboring teeth.
If you are suffering tooth pain and suspect decay, get in touch with our team for a proper diagnosis and plan of treatment. You can contact us, Medhat Dental Excellence at (773) 774-4611 to book an appointment today.