Dental fillings are used to treat tooth decay, more commonly known as cavities. Cavities can affect patients of any age, and are the most common chronic preventable oral health condition in America. Left untreated, cavities will destroy your tooth, and may eventually result in a painful tooth infection that could cause tooth loss.
Fillings are used to replace decayed tooth material, cover up the tooth, and eliminate the bacteria that are causing decay. This restores the tooth, and prevents the cavity from getting worse. If you think you need a filling, don’t wait. Contact Santee Dental Group today to get an appointment with Dr. Michael Hanna.
About 20% of the population has over 11 fillings?
To begin the filling process, Dr. Hanna will need to clean your mouth to remove food particles and other debris. Then, he will numb the treatment area using topical spray and a numbing needle. This ensures you feel comfortable throughout your treatment at Santee Dental Group.
Once the area is numb, Dr. Hanna will use a dental drill to clean away decayed, damaged, and compromised tooth material from your cavity, preparing it for the filling. Then, the area will be cleaned and dried once again.
Dr. Hanna will apply a composite or metal amalgam material directly to your cavity using special dental tools. Then, he will continue to build up the filling layer-by-layer, trimming and adjusting it to make sure it looks and feels natural.
Once the overall shape of the filling is right and it has hardened, Dr. Hanna will have you bite down on some special paper, which will let him check your bite. He will adjust the filling accordingly to make sure it fits in with your other teeth perfectly. Then, your tooth will be polished one last time and you’ll be sent home.
Composite fillings are made out of resin that remains easy to shape and sculpt until hardened with a special UV light, making it easy to achieve optimal results. Even though they may not last as long as metal fillings, the end result is a beautifully even, natural-looking smile.
Metal amalgam fillings are made from a combination of metals that harden quickly and bind to the tooth. Although their dark color may not be as aesthetically pleasing to some, amalgam fillings are a durable solution to tooth decay that can last 10-15 years, and may be recommended for patients with certain dental needs.
Amalgam fillings have been used for over 150 years!
This depends on the type of filling you get. Tooth-colored composite fillings usually last up to 10 years with proper oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist. Metal fillings tend to last longer, with a lifespan of up to 15 or 20 years. This is because metal fillings are less brittle and hold up better to the forces of biting and chewing.
To keep your filling healthy and keep it for as long as possible, you need to make sure you maintain good at-home oral hygiene habits and see Dr. Hanna for a checkup every 6 months. Decay near fillings is the #1 cause of premature filling failure, so make sure you do everything you can to avoid tooth decay in the future.
This depends on your personal preferences and where your cavity is located. In general, Dr. Hanna recommends tooth-colored fillings for front teeth, or for patients who are highly concerned with how their smile looks, since these look just like a part of your natural tooth.
Metal fillings are more durable, but they don’t look as natural, so we usually only recommend them for the rear teeth. Metal fillings are great for molars and premolars due to their exceptional durability.
The average adult has about 7 teeth with fillings!