The Ins and Outs of Tooth Fillings


The Ins and Outs of Tooth Fillings

The Ins and Outs of Tooth Fillings

If you've ever had a cavity, you know that getting a tooth filling is a common and routine procedure. But do you really understand what goes into the process of filling a cavity? In this article, we'll break down the ins and outs of tooth fillings.

What is a Tooth Filling?

A tooth filling is a dental restoration used to repair a tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma. When you have a cavity, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then fill the space with a filling material.

Types of Filling Materials

There are several types of filling materials available, including:

  • Amalgam: This is a metal filling made from a mixture of silver, tin, copper, and mercury. Amalgam fillings are strong and long-lasting, but they are also noticeable and can discolor over time.
  • Composite: Composite fillings are made from a mixture of plastic and glass. They are tooth-colored, which makes them a popular choice for front teeth, but they are not as strong as amalgam fillings.
  • Ceramic: Ceramic fillings are made from porcelain and are tooth-colored. They are strong and durable, but they can be more expensive than other types of fillings.

The Filling Procedure

The filling procedure typically takes about an hour. First, the dentist will numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Then, they will use a drill or laser to remove the decayed portion of the tooth.

Once the decay has been removed, the dentist will shape the space for the filling material. They will then fill the space with the chosen material and shape it to fit your bite. Finally, they will polish the filling to smooth out any rough edges.

Caring for Your Filling

After getting a filling, it's important to take good care of your teeth to prevent future decay. Here are a few tips:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles.
  • Limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.

In conclusion, getting a tooth filling is a common and straightforward procedure that can save your tooth from further decay. By understanding the types of filling materials and the filling procedure, you can make informed decisions about your dental health.

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