Dental fillings are a form of dental restoration that restore the function and the integrity of a tooth. There are numerous dental procedures that are used to treat tooth decay. One of the oldest and still the most popular forms of treatment is the dental filling. It is difficult to find someone who does not have at least one filling in their mouth. Over the years, the types of fillings have evolved, and it is now easier and even faster to have a cavity treated at DC Dental Spa than ever before.
Our terrific team at DC Dental Spa are proficient with our deliberate thoroughness when it comes to your oral care, and this certainly includes dental fillings. The latest in technology advancements can be found in our clinic and the friendly atmosphere will help us evaluate any dental problems you might have. Call 202-333-9282 for an initial consultation and let us help begin a preventive oral hygiene program that, which includes eliminating any possible cavities.
Dental Fillings and the Different Materials Used
Fillings are most often used to fill small holes in a tooth that have been started by either a fracture or decay. Decay is the result of bacterial infections. Bacteria is found in the plaque that develops on teeth when they are not brushed or flossed correctly. Also, poor diet, lifestyle habits, drug use, medication, medical conditions can cause abnormal tooth decay. Fillings will cover these holes in a tooth to protect the live and sensitive pulp in the center of the tooth and prevent further damage from occurring.
There are several types of tooth fillings used today in the dental industry. These include traditional metal fillings, as well as composite fillings, which are newer and are growing in popularity.
- Metal Fillings
These are made from several different types of materials including amalgam, which is the silver filling material that most people are familiar with. Amalgam is made from a metal alloy which contains mercury, silver, copper, and tin. These fillings are very inexpensive and quite durable. If you have fillings placed in your teeth you might have them for the rest of your life without ever needing to have them replaced or repaired. It has been used reliably to fill teeth in the US since the nineteenth century. Records of a similar amalgam of mercury, silver, and tin are even mentioned in Chinese medical texts as far back as the first century. Another type of metal filling that is less popular, and more expensive than amalgam fillings is that of gold cast fillings.
- Composite Fillings
Starting in the 1990s, advances in dentistry produced new options for filling teeth. One of the most popular of these is the composite fillings. The material used for composite fillings is also a mixture of polymers that can adhere to the tooth surface and are hardened with a blue light. These are less noticeable than other fillings because they are tooth colored. Unlike their metal counterparts, the composite fillings are made from a mixture of glass and plastic and are bonded to the tooth. This type of filling is more expensive than the traditional metal fillings, but they are more far more aesthetic and can last an extended life expectancy as well.
- Porcelain Fillings
Porcelain fillings are a new method of dental filling that uses the latest in technological advancements in the dental industry. These fillings are both incredibly strong and look just like your real teeth. They will not stain, and they can last for many years if taken care of properly.
The Dental Filling Process
Fillings are a common dental procedure. Some records show that 92% of adults have dental fillings because of cavities. They are performed by dentists all over the world daily. Some dentists will perform several fillings in a single day. The process is simple and will be completed in less than an hour in most cases.
Before the actual procedure begins x-rays will be taken to pinpoint the exact location and size of the cavity. Then the first step in preparation for a filling is to have the tooth cleaned and then any decay removed from the tooth with a high-speed dental drill. This will follow the administration of a local anesthetic to numb the tooth.
Then we will work with you to determine the right cavity filling material for your needs and preferences. If you have chosen a composite filling, less tooth surface needs to be removed and altered than if you have chosen a metal dental filling.
Once your filling procedure is completed, you may continue to have a numbing sensation in the area for several hours. Once the numbness has worn off, you can typically resume any of your daily activities. You should treat your new dental filling like you do the rest of your teeth, which is following the industry advise of brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
During your regular check-ups with our staff, we will always check the integrity of the filling and ensure that no additional decay has occurred. You might experience a little sensitivity for a few weeks following your filling as well. This is also common and will dimminish after some time.
If you have pain in the area, talk to our dentists immediately. If your filling ever cracks or even falls out, make an appointment right away so it can be repaired or replaced to prevent any further damage from occurring in the tooth and even the surrounding teeth.
High Quality Care You Can Trust For Dental Fillings in Washington DC
At our downtown office of DC Dental Spa, we will make every attempt to accommodate your busy schedule. Our entire staff enjoys the development of strong and lasting relationships with each of our patients. We enjoy the trust that our patients continue to place in us through regular dental visits. We are both deliberate and quite thoughtful about exercising preventative overall dental health and delivering the enjoyment that comes with your healthy smile. Visit us today at DC Dental Spa, 730 24th St. NW, Suite 9, Washington, DC, 20037, or call 202-333-9282 for an evaluation and consultation regarding a thorough dental exam and to see if it is necessary for you to pursue a dental filling.