Fill Up on Information About Dental Fillings
If you’ve never had a dental filling, there’s a good chance you have questions not only about the procedure itself but the purpose of dental fillings near you in El Paso, TX. Because we believe that knowledge is power when it comes to preventive dentistry, we’re happy to provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from patients just like you!
What’s the primary use of dental fillings?
Dental fillings in El Paso are primarily used to treat dental decay that has culminated in a dental cavity. They can also be used as a form of restorative dentistry to treat a tooth that has become fractured or chipped due to trauma or impact.
What materials are used to create the filling?
There are a number of options that can be used, such as silver amalgam fillings, composite fillings, porcelain fillings, and gold fillings. There are pros and cons to each type of material depending on aesthetic and cost differences. For example, gold is one of the more expensive materials, but it is not as natural looking as a composite filling.
Is there another name for composite fillings?
Yes, you may have heard them referred to as resin fillings. Many patients who are searching for dental fillings in El Paso, TX often request composite fillings because they are tooth-colored and natural in appearance.
Can tooth-colored fillings be used for all restorations?
There are limitations to the size of the tooth restoration that can accommodate a composite or resin filling. For the most part, these materials are reserved for use on small to mid-size restorations only.
How will I know what type of filling material will be used to restore my tooth?
The best way to find out which material is best suited for your exact restoration is to visit your dentist in El Paso for an examination and treatment plan. Only then will your dental care team be able to assess the size and extent of the decay to make recommendations on the most durable material to use.
What is tooth decay? Surprising to many people, tooth decay is actually an infection. As such, unless the infection is treated in a timely manner, it will continue to worsen over time and degrade more of the natural tooth structure as it spreads.
What can I do to prevent cavities?
The best way to prevent infections of any type in your mouth is to practice preventive dentistry – brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. In addition to these at-home practices, you should also visit your El Paso dentist twice a year for an exam and professional tooth cleaning. By visiting your dentist regularly, they will be able to diagnose and treat dental decay while it is still treatable with a filling.
What happens if my decay gets too large to treat with a dental filling?
In cases where your decay has become too large to effectively treat with a traditional filling, your dentist may recommend restoration with the use of a dental crown. A dental crown procedure is often more complicated and costly than a routine filling. It’s for those two reasons that it makes sense to adhere to a preventive dental schedule so you can treat the infection when it is at its smallest.
How long does a dental filling procedure usually take?
Although every patient profile will be different, most procedures can be completed within a single one-hour appointment. During this time, the dental team will take an x-ray of the affected tooth, perform the procedure to remove the infection, and then fill the area that has been removed with the filling material that was selected.
Does the procedure hurt?
Because the procedure is typically performed using local anesthetics, most patients do not experience any discomfort and are able to return to work or school immediately following their appointment.
Apart from practicing good oral hygiene at home, is there anything else I can do to prevent cavities? Yes, you may want to consider a dental sealant procedure. Although the treatment is most commonly used in children and teenagers as a way to insure against missed brushing at home, sealants can be used on patients of all ages who want to take an added step of protection.
How can I learn more?
Our dental team wants your smile to be the healthiest, brightest it can be. Call Schedule an appointment for more information today.