Nobody likes a cavity, and if you have had one you are more than familiar with dental fillings. Used to restore a tooth damaged by decay, fillings are one of the most useful materials a dentist has to work with in order to ensure your long-term dental health. If you have ever had any questions about what dental fillings actually are, Rogers Arkansas cosmetic dentistry services can answer your questions.

What Else Are Dental Fillings Used For? dentist checks on patient's dental fillings with a small mirror

In addition to the classic dental cavity, dental fillings in Rogers, Arkansas repair teeth damaged by stressors other than tooth decay. Common conditions that necessitate dental fillings include cracks caused by blunt force trauma or tooth grinding (bruxism).

How Dentists Use Fillings

The first thing that your dentist will do to repair your tooth is to make sure that you are ready for the procedure. A local anesthetic will ensure that they can examine the extent of the damage without causing any undue discomfort. If decay is present, the dentist will drill it out before taking any other steps.

The resulting hole in the tooth will need cleaning to remove both bacteria and debris. There should be nothing between the tooth and the filling, but a thin liner will go in a particularly deep indentation in order to protect the nerve in the tooth. The filling itself is applied in layers to ensure that the indentation is completely filled. This will ensure the structural integrity of the tooth for years to come.

The final step will be shaping and polishing the filling. That way it feels just like your original tooth.

What Types Of Dental Fillings Are There?

There are more options when it comes to materials used for dental fillings than ever before. Metallic fillings used years ago, such as gold, mercury, silver, and tin, are not as common these days. A metallic amalgam of safe metals may be used, but most patients favor materials that are less noticeable. Porcelain and composite resin fillings can give the appearance of a natural tooth. They’re also more likely to have the recommendation of your dentist to fully restore your tooth.

However, you’ll want to consider the visibility of the teeth and your finances when choosing a material.

What Aftercare Is Required After Getting a Filling?

Like all dental procedures, fillings will require a certain amount of aftercare. The most important thing is to maintain your dental hygiene so that you can avoid getting any more fillings. If the filling was close to the gap between your teeth, you may experience difficulty flossing between these teeth. If this is the case, inform your dentist. Additional shaping may be required to allow you the access required to fully clean your teeth. You may also need to schedule a follow-up appointment within 6 months in order to have a check-up and make sure that the filling is holding in place.

If you experience any pain or throbbing in the tooth in this period of time, you should inform your dentist immediately. You should do the same if there is any swelling in the gum area around the tooth or if you notice pieces of the filling breaking loose. Other than these instances, your regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing should provide all the aftercare that the filling needs.

Do you think that you have a cavity or a broken tooth? Don’t hesitate to call the experts at Marcus Black DDS at 479.464.0900 for more information or to make an appointment. Located in Rogers, Arkansas, our cosmetic dentistry services will have your teeth looking good as new with dental fillings.