Tooth Fillings For Decay Repair
If left untreated for too long, tooth decay will eventually wear away enough of a tooth that a cavity will form. This cavity can expose inner nerves, allow room for an infection to develop, and/or result in the structural integrity of the tooth becoming compromised. To reduce the likelihood of an infection developing and improve the structural integrity of the tooth, a dental filling can be placed. There are a range of dental filling material types, the most common of which are silver amalgam, composite resin, and glass ionomer.
To ensure that you have a clear understanding of what is involved in having dental fillings placed and/or determine if you may be a good candidate for having dental fillings, please refer to the information provided below. If you have additional questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today at 281-359-9100, or visit our office at 2325 Timber Shadows Drive, Building A, Kingwood TX 77339.
The Dental Filling Procedure
Prior to beginning the dental filling process, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area where the filling will be placed, as well as the jaw and gums around the teeth. Once you are sufficiently numbed, decay is removed using a dental drill. Once the decay has been removed, the tooth is cleaned and readied to receive the filling. This readying process will be determined by what type of filling you are having placed. For example, metal fillings will require that more tooth surface be removed, as compared to composite fillings which requires less.
Dental Filling Material Types
There are a range of dental filling material types, all of which have unique characteristics. Which filling is right for you will depend upon a variety of factors, such as your aesthetic preference, where the filling is located, how much of a factor cost is, and whether or not you have any allergies to particular materials.
The most common filling options include the following:
- Amalgam (silver): Relatively inexpensive and resistant to wear, the biggest drawback to amalgam fillings is that the silver appearance is much more visible then other filling materials, such as composite or porcelain. This type of filling is not typically recommended for highly visible areas of the mouth.
- Gold: In addition to providing a desired aesthetic appearance for some patients, gold fillings are also incredibly durable, lasting up to or beyond 20 years. The biggest drawback is that placement may require multiple visits, and the filling material is more expensive than other filling options.
- Composite: An ideal filling type for patients whose primary concern is a natural appearance, composite fillings can be designed to match the natural color of your teeth. The biggest drawbacks are a higher susceptibility to staining or chipping and less overall longevity.
- Porcelain: Porcelain fillings are the ideal choice for patients who desire a natural appearance, are not overly concerned with added costs, and are looking for a longer term, stronger solution. The only significant drawback to porcelain fillings is the added cost, which is not as considerable when you consider the longevity of the filling.
Dental Filling Aftercare
Following the dental filling procedure, it will not be necessary to follow any modified self-care, although it is common for patients to experience some tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking food or beverages that are cold or hot, but this will typically go away after a few weeks. It is also common for your mouth to remain numb for a few hours following the completion of your dental filling procedure.
To continue enjoying good oral health and reduce the need for this type of procedure in the future, it is important to consistently follow good oral hygiene practices. In addition to brushing and flossing twice daily (at a minimum), be mindful of the types of food and beverages you consume, and avoid foods or substances that can negatively impact your oral health (chewing tobacco, staining foods, sugary drinks). It is equally important to schedule regular dental cleanings every six months, or more frequently, depending upon your unique oral health needs. If you follow these general guidelines, you will enjoy a healthy smile for many years to come!
Filling Cost & Insurance Coverage
The cost of having dental fillings placed will depend upon how many teeth are being treated, whether sedation is used, and what insurance coverage from your dental plan can be applied. It is important to be aware that you are fully responsible for all fees of treatment, and payment is due at the time of service, regardless of your insurance coverage. Monthly payment plans can be arranged, but this will need to be established prior to the procedure being performed. Although we may not have a contractual arrangement with your provider, our staff is happy to assist with processing your insurance claim to ensure that you maximize your benefits and receive the high-quality care you need and deserve. For your convenience, we accept Mastercard, Visa and Discover.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Scheduling an appointment for dental fillings is the first and most important step towards improving and maintaining your oral health. At Kingwood Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we are dedicated to creating an environment where open dialogue is encouraged, so we can ensure you have a thorough understanding of the procedure being performed, and confidence that you are receiving high-quality specialized care designed to meet your unique needs. To learn more about dental fillings, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today at 281-359-9100, or visit our office, which is located at 2325 Timber Shadows Drive, Building A, Kingwood TX 77339.
We look forward to hearing from you and are committed to providing you with exceptional quality dental care that is grounded in a deep sense of respect!